Johnson & Johnson said Monday human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus would begin by September and that it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.
J&J also said it has committed more than $1 billion of investment along with U.S. agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research.
J&J’s lead vaccine candidate will enter a phase 1 human clinical study by September 2020, the company said, and clinical data on its effects is expected before the end of the year. If the candidate works well, the company said it could be available for emergency use in early 2021.
Shares of J&J rose more than 5% in premarket trading on Monday.
The company said it is also increasing its manufacturing capacity with a new site in the U.S. and additions to previously existing sites in other countries to produce and distribute the potential vaccine quickly.
“The world is facing an urgent public health crisis and we are committed to doing our part to make a COVID-19 vaccine available and affordable globally as quickly as possible,” Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said.
On top of a lead vaccine candidate, J&J said it has two back-ups as well.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.