Leiden pharmaceutical to start human testing coronavirus vaccine next month
Leiden pharmaceutical company Janssen Vaccines will start testing a vaccine against the coronavirus on humans in July - much earlier than originally planned, virologist Hanneke Schuitemaker reported during a webinar of American parent company Johnson & Johnson, NU.nl reports.
Whether the vaccine actually works on humans is not yet clear, but the first results from animal experiments are very promising, Janssen Vaccines reported. "The tests showed that this vaccine produces antibodies that can attach to and neutralize the coronavirus," Schuitemaker previously said to NU.nl.
The vaccine will be tested on 1,045 healthy people in Belgium and the United States, with researchers looking at safety, the immune response, and how the body responds to the vaccine. If this test goes well, the company hopes to start tests on a larger group of people earlier than planned.
In preparation of the vaccine working, Janssen Vaccines is expanding its production capacity, with the goal of having a billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine available in 2021. If this vaccine proves to work, it must be shared fairly between countries, Janssen Vaccines said.
The United States Department of Health pushed over 500 million dollars into Johnson & Johnson for the development of this vaccine. The parent company is funding the rest from its own resources. The Dutch government did not push any money into the vaccine, but wants to facilitate its development, according to the newspaper.