Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday that the first human clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate have begun in the U.S. and Belgium.
"We are excited to see these pre-clinical data because they show our SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate generated a strong antibody response and provided protection with a single dose," Dr. Paul Stoffels, the company's chief scientific officer, said in a statement. "The findings give us confidence as we progress our vaccine development and upscale manufacturing in parallel, having initiated a Phase 1/2a trial in July with the intention to move into a Phase 3 trial in September."
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Johnson & Johnson's trials will include "significant representation" of communities of color and the elderly, who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, the company said.
The pharmaceutical giant now has some good news after a second-quarter profit slump. The company saw slowing demand for both beauty products and medical devices, which affected its bottom line.