J&J begins clinical trial of single-dose coronavirus vaccine

Trials will include 'significant representation' of communities of color and the elderly

Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday that the first human clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate have begun in the U.S. and Belgium.

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"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.

A lab technician works during research on coronavirus at Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical in Beerse, Belgium, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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.

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Twenty coronavirus vaccines are now in clinical testing, according to tracking by the Milken Institute. U.S.-based Moderna is one of the companies furthest along in vaccine development.

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