J&J expects data for U.S. authorization of COVID-19 vaccine by February, says head scientist

(Reuters) - The chief scientist Johnson & Johnson has said that the drug manufacturer hires more than 1,000 individuals a day for the late-stage developmental study of his vaccine COVID-19 and expects all the details required to obtain U.S. clearance by February or before.

Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J Research Officer, said in an interview ahead of Reuters Complete Health Conference, this week By year's end or by the end of the year, we should have 60,000 participants in the trial.

"And efficacy endpoint should be there in the first few weeks or months, January or February, of the new year," he said.

The single-dose vaccine step III experiment commenced at the end of September.

Owing to a significant medical incident in one researcher in October, the organization halted the experiment and resumed after having earned the green light from an impartial protection commission.

J&J shall provide the United States with protection details.

Health and Drugs Administration for two months after getting the vaccine for at least a half of the participants in the study.

"So that will bring us around the year end or early next year for having all the data," he said.

J&J has been lagging behind some of its competitors in the global race to establish a safe and efficient viral vaccine, destroying over 1,3 million globally and shaking the world economy.

On Monday, Competitor Moderna said its test vaccine was successful at 94.5 percent, citing similar findings from Pfizer last week to avoid COVID-19 based on interim evidence from late-stage clinical trials.

Both vaccinations from Pfizer and Moderna utilize a revolutionary technology named messenger RNA or mRNA.

By comparison, J&J's vaccination is used to inject coronaviral proteins in cells of the body and activates the body's immune response utilizing a common cold virus named adenovirus type 26.

The J&J nominee is a one-dose injection, while Moderna and Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations both need a two weeks separating shots.

"In a pandemic a single shot is definitely important globally," said Stoffels.

"(A two-shot vaccine) is a very significant operational challenge. More so in healthcare systems which are less well organized."

In specific remote regions, Stoffels said single shot vaccinations would possibly benefit.

For more information on Reuters' Activities Overall Fitness, click here.

(Bengaluru article by Manojna Maddipatla and London's Axel Threlfall; Berkrot and Rosalba O'Brien's report)

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