Covid-19 roundup: J&J, BAR­DA set ear­ly 2021 fin­ish line for $1B vac­cine race; FDA al­lows emer­gency drug use, ahead of piv­otal da­ta

J&J has ze­roed in on a Covid-19 vac­cine can­di­date that it hopes to be­gin test­ing in hu­mans by Sep­tem­ber this year — with the ex­tra­or­di­nary goal of get­ting it ready for emer­gency use in ear­ly 2021. And to­geth­er with BAR­DA, it’s com­mit­ting $1 bil­lion to make it hap­pen.

That kind of ac­cel­er­at­ed time­line would fall on the fast side of NI­AID di­rec­tor An­tho­ny Fau­ci’s well-pub­li­cized pre­dic­tion that it would be an­oth­er 12 to 18 months be­fore a vac­cine can be avail­able for pub­lic use. A Phase I tri­al of Mod­er­na’s mR­NA vac­cine be­gan two weeks ago, and both the biotech and fel­low mR­NA play­er Cure­Vac have dis­cussed sim­i­lar, if not even faster, time­lines for emer­gency use among health­care work­ers.

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