A lead candidate vaccine for COVID-19 has been selected by US company Johnson & Johnson on Monday. The new finding has the potential to have human trials by September of this year and could be ready for emergency use as early as 2021 according to CTV News.
In January, the pharmaceutical developer began working on Ad26 SARS-CoV-2, an investigational vaccine, by applying the same technology they previously used to develop a candidate vaccine for Ebola. The process uses a deactivated version of the virus to potentially trigger a human immune response.
The company is also working on antiviral treatments against COVID-19.
Johnson & Johnson have signed an agreement with the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to secure US $1 billion as an investment in the project.
The company is hoping to supply over a billion doses of its vaccine globally through the expansion of their manufacturing in the US and around the world.
Alex Gorsky, CEO, said the company is "well positioned through our combination of scientific expertise, operational scale and financial strength to bring our resources in collaboration with others to accelerate the fight against this pandemic."
A Chinese pharmaceutical company named CanSinoBIO has moved into the human trials stage with their vaccine candidate and Moderna, another U.S. based pharmaceutical company has also been conducting human trials for its vaccine candidate.
No treatments or vaccines have been approved for the disease as of yet.
There are several treatments under investigation currently, such as the antiviral remdesivir and antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, however information on their status is limited.