Johnson and johnson
Says that it could make sufficient amounts of its Kovid-19 vaccine this year to vaccinate about one billion people against the virus.
It will be a big shot in the arm in an effort to end the epidemic – as long as the vaccine works. Its efficacy should become apparent within a few days.
Speaking at an industry conference on Monday, Johnson & Johnson (ticker: JNJ) CEO Alex Gorski said the company is in the “final stages” of analyzing data from a trial of its 45,000-patient single-dose version of Phase 3 . to vaccinate. Bloomberg also reported on Monday that the study would be ready to submit to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization on January 21, citing a report by a South African newspaper.
Gorski said, “We hope to get this information very soon.”
J. P. MourganOf
Annual Health Care Conference.
The data from that Phase 3 trial, called the ensemble, is probably the most anticipated drug study data for the early part of this year. If positive, the results could accelerate the global Kovid-19 vaccination effort, increase the number of available doses and introduce a vaccine alternative that would be much easier for public health officials to handle.
In other words, it can change the course of the epidemic.
(MRNA), which requires a two-dose, Johnson & Johnson vaccine, is being tested to produce a single-dose. The vaccine is also not subject to the same cumbersome storage requirements as the two cumbersome vaccines.
“JNJ data could be the most influential event of the month given its potential impact on the market. [Moderna] And [Pfizer] As first-to-market players, ”wrote Jefferies Health-Care Trading-Desk Analyst Jared Holz in an email to investors on Monday. “JNJ, as a single injection around which there is a less cumbersome supply chain, can be very important.”
Modern and Pfizer vaccines, however, set a high bar in their phase 3 trials, with each reporting efficacy rates of 90%. Although results are difficult to compare between trials, the significantly weaker performance by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may complicate its rollout.
There is a “buiside consensus ~ 85% + efficacy” for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote on 8 January. “Less than 85% would be physically weak,” he said.
If the vaccine performs sufficiently well to obtain FDA authorization, but is worse than previously authorized Modern and Pfizer vaccines, it can create dilemmas for health authorities and providers. While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be easier and cheaper to distribute, patients may be bald in receiving the vaccine considered less-protective.
In addition to the Ensemble Trial, Johnson & Johnson is running a Phase 3 trial of the vaccine, called Ensemble 2, which is testing a two-dose diet of the vaccine.
Gorski said in his Monday presentation that the company aims to make “close to 1 billion” doses by the end of this year. If the Ensemble test data is positive, it would be sufficient to vaccinate close to one billion people. Speaking in a separate presentation on Monday, the CEO of
(BNTX), which worked with Pfizer on its Kovid-19 vaccine, said the companies expected to manufacture 2 billion doses of their vaccine this year, vaccinating 1 billion people.
Although it is not a major manufacturer of vaccines, Johnson & Johnson was the first Big Pharma company to announce the Kovid-19 vaccine program in January of 2020. Its vaccines, which use an altered version of a cold virus called Ad26, carry DNA. A piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses a platform in the patient’s cells, a company the company previously used to make an eBay vaccine.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell 0.4% on Monday, and were up nearly 0.3% in prepaid trading compared to Tuesday
Futures gain 0.2%. The stock is up 8.8% over the past 12 months and is expected to earn 17.8 times earnings over the next 12 months, exceeding the 5-year average of 16.4 times earnings. Of the 18 analysts tracked by FactSet, who cover the stock, 12 buy it overweight or one, five hold it, and one rate sell it.
Write Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected]