J&J plans 60,000-person phase 3 COVID vax trial

Aug. 21, 2020

Johnson & Johnson plans to launch what could become the largest clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine to date, enlisting up to 60,000 people for a global trial set to launch in September.

The targeted enrollment is roughly double the size of other pivotal trials that have started for vaccines developed by Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca

J&J is using epidemiology and modeling data to choose study locations with high incidence rates of COVID-19. The trial will be conducted at approximately 180 locations in the U.S. and eight other countries where transmission rates are high, including Brazil, Chile, the Philippines and South Africa, reports the WSJ, based on analysis of the federal database of clinical trials.

While rivals including Moderna and AstraZeneca are already in late-stage trials with their vaccines, preclinical studies of the J&J vaccine have shown that it can create a robust antibody response with just one shot — rather than an initial shot and then a booster. J&J will test its one-dose regimen in this large-scale trial. If successful, the vaccine could be a cheaper and more attractive purchase than a two-dose regimen for governments around the world.