Johnson & Johnson JNJ -0.61% said Wednesday it started a 60,000-person clinical trial of its single-dose Covid-19 vaccine on three continents, becoming the fourth experimental Covid-19 shot to enter final-stage testing in the U.S.
The New Brunswick, N.J., company said it could learn pivotal results from the trial by early next year, which if positive could lead to government authorization of the vaccine for emergency use soon afterward. J&J aims to enroll adult volunteers in the U.S. and several other countries, including Brazil and South Africa.
The trial follows an earlier study in which the shot showed promising results. It will now test whether a single dose of J&J’s vaccine can safely protect people from Covid-19. U.S. government agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services are helping to fund the study, which is expected to cost about $480 million.
Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE also started a Phase 3 trial of their vaccine in July and have enrolled nearly 32,000 toward a goal of 44,000. Interim results of the Moderna and Pfizer studies could come as soon as October, but possibly later, according to company executives.
AstraZeneca PLC, which licensed a vaccine from the University of Oxford, started a 30,000-person Phase 3 trial in the U.S. in August but that study is on hold while an independent committee reviews a safety matter.