Healthcare Business

Johnson & Johnson Accelerates Its COVID-19 Vaccine Hopes

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has announced that it will accelerate initiation of its early stage first-in-human clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19. Shares got a mild boost on Wednesday from the news.

Specifically, Johnson & Johnson is pushing its Phase 1/2a clinical trial of Ad26.COV2-S, which is its investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

The company noted that it would accelerate the development of this vaccine based on preclinical data and its talks with regulatory bodies.

The trial will be double-blind and placebo-controlled, investigating the safety, response to vaccination and immune response of the vaccine in adults between the ages of 18 to 55 and adults aged 65 and over. It will take place in the United States and Belgium.

Currently, Johnson & Johnson is interacting with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in an effort to start its Phase 3 trial ahead of schedule. This is pending the results of the Phase 1 trial and regulatory approval.

Johnson & Johnson began crafting this vaccine in January.

Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, commented:

Based on the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant.

Johnson & Johnson stock traded up more than 1% at $147.92 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $109.16 to $157.00. The consensus price target is $164.17.