According to Operation Warp Speed head, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) could restart their US COVID-19 vaccine trials this week Moncef Slaoui.
Halted COVID-19 vaccine trials could restart this week
The companies’ COVID-19 vaccine studies were halted due to e-safety concerns after subjects became ill. This slowed the race for a vaccine to fight the pandemic, but now the trials are expected to recommence. Johnson & Johnson suspended its study last week after a subject became ill. On the other hand, AstraZeneca halted its trial last month after a UK participant developed neurological symptoms. However, the US FDA is yet to give AstraZeneca an okay to continue in the US.
Slaoui said that the FDA will decide and announce the trial’s restart, but that could be imminent. He was responding to a question in when AstraZeneca could resume its study. Slaoui added that he was optimistic that the JNJ study could also restart later in the week. He said that both the vaccines utilize viral vectors based on adenoviruses in stimulating responses, and there is no data that suggest that the platform technologies have problems.
AstraZeneca and J&J on the clear to recommence trials
In a statement, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said that the restart of the clinical trials globally is great news for the company. This will allow the company to continue developing the vaccine to help in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Soriot added that they need reassurance by the care independent regulators to protect the public and ensure the safety of the vaccine before its approval.
Paul Stoffels, JNJ’s chief scientific officer, said that they have established that their vaccine candidate didn’t cause the adverse event in the participant. As a result, they are going to restart the trial. The company is studying over 60,000 participants across the world.
Study pauses are common globally for trials that involve several participants, and the compression of the coronavirus vaccine development timelines has increased vaccine safety concerns.