Coronavirus company news summary – J&J temporarily suspend Covid-19 vaccine trials – Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to be studied in the UAE

13 October 2020 (Last Updated October 13th, 2020 09:49)

13 October 2020 

Johnson & Johnson has announced the temporary pause of further dosing in all its vaccine candidate clinical trials for Covid-19 after one of the study participants reported an unexplained illness. The ENSEMBLE trial's independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and the company’s internal clinical and safety physicians are currently reviewing and evaluating the participant’s illness.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting human clinical trial abroad of Russia's Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V. These are the second trials of Sputnik V abroad, after their launch in Belarus. Clinical trials are also expected to start in Venezuela in the coming months. Initially licensed by Russian authorities for domestic use in August this year, the vaccine is currently being tested on 40,000 volunteers in Moscow as part of a Phase III late-stage trial. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) head Kirill Dmitriev said that the UAE trial results will be combined with the results of the of the trial in Russia and other countries. Interim results are expected to be published before the end of next month.

The University of Alabama (UAB) in Birmingham has reported that a Covid-19 vaccine candidate that underwent preclinical testing demonstrated potent preclinical immune responses, including several that distinguish it from other vaccine approaches for the virus. In July and August, biopharmaceutical company Altimmune announced partial preclinical results. The latest expanded results show strong activation of both arms of the adaptive immune system after giving a single intranasal dose of the company’s AdCOVID, as tested at the university in two strains of mice.