Saturday 27 November 2021

Leiden coronavirus vaccine trial brought forward to July


A vaccine against coronavirus which is being developed by pharmaceuticals subsidiary Janssen Biologics in Leiden will be tested on humans as early as July, the company has announced.

The company, which is owned by American multinational Johnson & Johnson, had scheduled the trial phase for September but said positive results had allowed researchers to bring it forward.

The Netherlands, which has pledged to ‘ promote and facilitate’ production of the vaccine but has not invested in its development, has strict regulations surrounding testing which means that trials will take place in Belgium and the United States.

Some 1,045 healthy adults between 18 and 45 will take part in a randomised double blind study which will give researchers answers as to the safety of the vaccine and its ability to make the body produce antibodies.

The production of the vaccine will take place in Leiden, the United States and possibly Asia, the company said. Despite the lack of testing results, a goal of a billion doses has already been set for 2021.

‘If the vaccine doesn’t work we will have to destroy it. That is the risk we are taking,’ lead researcher at Janssen and UvA virology professor Hanneke Schuitemaker told the AD. ‘But if it does work we want to be able to give it to the world as quickly as possible.’

However, the paper notes, despite pledges by Janssen that the vaccine will be fairly divided among countries, president Donald Trump, whose government has invested half a billion dollar in the development of the vaccine, may want to lay claim to the vaccines produced in the US.

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