The American multinational corporation Johnson and Johnson said it had selected a lead candidate vaccine for the COVID-19 that would move to human trials by September this year. The company stated that the potential vaccine could be ready for emergency use by early next year.
The pharmaceutical company said that it has come to an agreement with the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to invest $1 billion for developing a cure to the Coronavirus.
New Coronavirus vaccine
Johnson and Johnson started working on the vaccine, Ad26 SARS-CoV-2, in January, 2020. The company said it is using the same technology which it had used to develop a candidate vaccine for Ebola, which is rare but considered a severe disease.
The chief of Johnson and Johnson, Paul Stoffels said in a statement on Monday, March 30 that the team of scientists had combined a common cold virus incapable of replicating with parts of the Novel Coronavirus and they hope it would trigger a human immune response. He said, "We had several vaccine candidates which we tested in animals in order to choose the best one, that took 12 weeks, from January 15 to today."
The team of researchers at Johnson and Johnson had to evaluate which candidate vaccine could be promising to make sure it works against the deadly virus as "we can make a lot of it," said Stoffels.
Since the outbreak in China in December 2019, researchers from all over the world joined a race to develop a vaccine or a cure for the deadly Novel Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 infection. But as of now none of the scientists found success.
As per Stoffels, he was confident about the emergency cure for the COVID-19 because Johnson and Johnson was working with the same team that had developed a candidate vaccine for SARS, which killed almost 800 people between 2002 and 2003 globally. He said, "The question is, can you protect for infection or can you protect for severe disease? In many diseases, like in influenza, when you vaccinate on an annual basis, you protect for severe disease, you don't always protect for infection."
The medical company, which agreed at India's Delhi High Court last year to pay $2.5 million to 67 patients affected by its faulty acetabular surface replacement (ASR) hip implants, recently said it was expanding its global manufacturing capacity in the US as well as in other countries, to help it supply more than a billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine around the world. The company, which was accused of developing baby powder that could cause cancer, currently working on an antiviral treatment against the Coronavirus.
Apart from Johnson and Johnson, there are several other companies which have joined the race to find a cure against the deadly virus. Antiviral remdesivir , antimalarial drug chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are most popular and recommended options to treat or slow down the spread of the Coronavirus, but it should be noted that none of these medications had the WHO approval to be used as remedies for the infection.