Johnson & Johnson's CEO says crucial coronavirus vaccine data will come by early next week
Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, appears as a witness before the New Jersey Supreme Court in New Brunswick Reuters
We'll know if a single-dose coronavirus vaccine will work early next week, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said Tuesday.
The health giant is completing an extensive study testing its shot against a placebo.
If successful, J&J plans to ship 100 million cans to the US by the end of June.
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The world is only days away from crucial results for one of the most important coronavirus vaccines in development.
Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said Tuesday the healthcare giant will receive results from a 45,000-person study testing its COVID-19 single-dose vaccine by early next week.
"We look forward to publishing more details of our Phase 3 study by early next week," said Gorsky at a call for earnings on Tuesday morning.
Read More: What's Next For COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's the latest from 11 leading programs.
The company had previously announced that it would expect a reading by the end of January. The new timeline allows for a slight delay with the possibility that results won't be available until the first few days of February.
If successful, J&J must continue to apply for and receive emergency clearance from US regulators. That process took just under three weeks for the two previously approved vaccines, which means that J & J's vaccine could be fine by the end of February and roll out by March.
The potential for a single dose vaccine
Of all the front runners, J & J's shot advertises the simplest logistics. It is a single dose vaccine that can be kept stable for several months at typical refrigerator temperatures.
So far, the US has approved two coronavirus vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech. Both vaccines are two-dose regimens. Nearly 20 million Americans have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, with federal officials having sent about 41 million doses to states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read more: More than 200 coronavirus vaccines are still in development as the first vaccine rollout moves forward. Experts expect the game in 2021.
J&J is experiencing manufacturing problems
On the production side, J & J's CFO, Joseph Wolk, said Tuesday that he was "very confident" that J & J would fulfill all orders it had placed.
That includes shipping 100 million cans to the US by the end of June, 200 million cans to the European Union by the end of the year and 200 million more cans to developing countries in the second half of 2021, CNBC's Meg Tirrell reported.
While J&J previously announced it would produce 1 billion cans by 2021, the company also faced some manufacturing challenges and delays of up to two months, the New York Times reported.
Wolk appeared to downplay these reports, despite not directly answering whether J&J will still produce a total of 1 billion cans in 2021 at the request of a Wall Street analyst.
"I think what we're seeing with a little confusion is people are trying to break this down into weeks," said Wolk. "I think the final message here is that we can very well fulfill our obligations to the respective countries or organizations that I have just outlined," with reference to the US, the EU and the developing countries.
J&J is also testing its vaccine as a two-dose regimen, with the second dose being given two months later. The results of this ongoing study will likely not be available until the "back end of this year," said Gorsky.
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