WASHINGTON — Johnson & Johnson says Monday it has selected a lead candidate vaccine for the new coronavirus that would move to human trials by September and could be ready for emergency use by early next year.
The pharmaceutical company has signed an agreement with the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to invest $1 billion in the effort, it says in a statement.
J&J began working on the investigational vaccine, Ad26 SARS-CoV-2 in January using the same technology it used to develop a candidate vaccine for Ebola.
It uses a deactivated version of the virus to try to trigger a human immune response.
The company says it was expanding its global manufacturing capacity both in the US and in other countries, to help it supply more than a billion doses of its vaccine around the world.
J&J is also working on antiviral treatments against the coronavirus.