Russian Federation to launch coronavirus vaccine in August

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with health workers at the Novo Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on June 20

"We know that, if successful, this vaccine can be rapidly developed, produced on a large scale and delivered around the world".

The drugmaker said it had started early-stage human trials in the United States and Belgium and would test its vaccine candidate in over 1,000 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 years, as well as adults aged 65 years and older.

"The trials began under the supervision of physician Dr Ajit Pratap Singh and gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Sona Ghosh and the vaccine has been administered to 9 volunteers so far", Chief Administrative Officer of the hospital, Venketesh Chaturvedi said.

Tests have shown that the vaccine promotes the creation of protective antibodies. A single-shot immunization has practical and logistical advantages over a two-shot regimen for global deployment and pandemic control.

It added that only one of the six showed very low levels of the virus in a nasal swab at two time points.

J&J's vaccine uses a common cold virus known as adenovirus type 26 or Ad26 to ferry coronavirus proteins into cells in the body, causing the body to mount an immune defense against the virus.

The study saw the monkeys given a panel of vaccine prototypes before being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Vaccinated animals developed neutralizing antibodies against the virus. All 20 animals that received the placebos became infected and showed high levels of virus in their lungs and nasal swabs.

The trial began at Rana Hospital and Trauma Centre, which is among the 12 institutes selected for clinical trials of the vaccine.

"Our pre-clinical results give us reason to be optimistic as we initiate our first-in-human clinical trial, and we are excited to enter the next stage in our research and development toward a COVID-19 vaccine".

Pending clinical trial outcomes, the vaccine is on track to start a phase 3 efficacy trial in 30,000 participants in September.

J&J shares were up almost 2% at $149.72 before the bell on Thursday.

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