There are well over 100 separate coronavirus vaccines currently in development, with many of them already close to being completion. One of the biggest companies working to develop a treatment in this area is Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). Although the pharmaceutical giant isn’t expecting to report a profit from this vaccine, the company is still racing ahead to develop a treatment anyway. In that regard, Johnson & Johnson reported on Wednesday that its coronavirus vaccine had just entered phase 3 clinical trials and plans to enroll over 60,000 patients in the test.
The pharmaceutical giant went on to say that it expects to see initial results from the trial by sometime in early 2021. If successful, it’s expected that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will quickly approve the vaccine for emergency use across the country. The trial will directly test whether or not a single dose of the vaccine candidate will be able to protect people from the coronavirus.
U.S. health authorities, such as the National Institutes of Health, are directly helping fund this study, which is expected to cost just under half a billion dollars, making it one of the most expensive phase 3 trials in recent history.
Other coronavirus vaccine makers have already begun stage 3 trials earlier this year. Moderna, an mRNA-vaccine developer, had announced phase 3 trials back in July, enrolling 30,000 people for its own test in partnership with U.S. health authorities. Pfizer’s own phase 3 trial began in July also and aims to enlist up to 44,000 people for the test. Both of these companies expect the clinical data to be available sometime in October, giving them a significant head start over Johnson & Johnson.
At the same time, Johnson & Johnson is in talks with the U.K. government to create a separate phase 3 trial to test a different, two-dose regime of the vaccine candidate. The pharmaceutical giant already has a $1 billion dollar contract with the U.S. federal government to provide an initial 100 million dose batch to the government if clinical trials prove a success. Right now, Johnson & Johnson expects it could produce as many as one billion doses throughout 2021.
Although the company doesn’t expect to make much money from the vaccine, it helps keep investor attention away from other issues the company is facing. This includes the many opioid-related lawsuits the company has acquired, as well as other legal troubles the business is facing.
Johnson & Johnson Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson is the world’s largest and most diverse healthcare company. Three divisions make up the firm: pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics, and consumer. The drug and device groups represent close to 80% of sales and drive the majority of cash flows for the firm. The drug division focuses on the following therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neurology, pulmonary, cardiology, and metabolic diseases. The device segment focuses on orthopedics, surgery tools, vision care, and a few smaller areas. The last segment of consumer focuses on baby care, beauty, oral care, over-the-counter drugs, and women’s health. Geographically, close to half of total revenue is generated in the United States. – Warrior Trading News