Johnsons

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 Vaccine Protects Monkeys, Study Finds

An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson protected monkeys from infection in a new study. It is the second vaccine candidate to show promising results in monkeys this week.

The company recently began a clinical trial in Europe and the United States to test its vaccine in people. It is one of more than 30 human trials for coronavirus vaccines underway across the world. But until these trials are complete — which will probably take several months — the monkey data offers the best clues to whether the vaccines will work.

“This week has been good — now we have two vaccines that work in monkeys,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University who was not involved in the studies. “It’s nice to be upbeat for a change.”

But she cautioned that the new results shouldn’t be used to rush large-scale trials in humans. “We just can’t

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Inside Johnson & Johnson’s Nonstop Hunt for a Coronavirus Vaccine

Each workday morning in March, Noe Mercado drove through the desolate streets of Boston to a tall glass building on Blackfan Circle, in the heart of the city’s biotech hub. Most residents had gone into hiding from the coronavirus, but Mr. Mercado had an essential job: searching for a vaccine against this new, devastating pathogen.

Parking in the underground lot, he put on a mask and rode the empty elevator to the tenth floor, joining a skeleton crew at the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Day after day, Mr. Mercado sat at his lab bench, searching for signs of the virus in nasal swabs taken from dozens of monkeys.

The animals had been injected with experimental vaccines Mr. Mercado had helped create. The monkeys then had been exposed to the coronavirus, and now Mr. Mercado was finding out whether any vaccine had protected

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