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Johnson & Johnson Kicks Off Phase 2 Covid-19 Vaccine Trial In Spain – Report

support@smarteranalyst.com (Ben Mahaney)
·3 mins read

Johnson & Johnson will kick off Phase 2 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Spain on Monday, according to the trial’s unit head Alberto Borobia.

The first stage of the Phase 2 trial study of J&J’s (JNJ) vaccine, which will be conducted across three hospitals in Spain, is expected to be concluded by Sept. 22, Borobia told Spanish news agency Servimedia. The pool of volunteers for the trial includes 190 participants, of which La Paz University Hospital's share will be 50 adults aged 18-55 and 25 seniors aged over 65, according to Borobia.

The participants will get the first dosage between Sept. 14 and Sept. 22 either one shot of the vaccine or two shots a month apart. The dosage will be tested against a group that will be given a placebo treatment. After receiving the first dose, participants have follow-up visits every week for the first month. In the second month, another vaccine dosage may follow with evaluations every seven days. The study seeks to verify the safety of the vaccine and evaluate how many doses and which administration schedule are the most appropriate in terms of safety and efficacy

In addition to Spain, the Phase 2 trial is also conducted in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The trials in the three countries are expected to last two months and include 550 participants in total.

J&J has in recent weeks entered into an agreement with the US government for large scale domestic manufacturing and supply of 100 million doses of its SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, valued at more than $1 billion. The European Union has also secured an initial purchase of 200 million doses of the vaccine.

JNJ shares have fully recovered since plunging to a multi-year low in March and are now trading 1.3% higher than at the start of year. (See JNJ stock analysis on TipRanks).

Credit Suisse analyst Matt Miksic recently reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $163 price target, saying that intra-quarter analysis of JNJ’s US pharma business for July appears to be tracking roughly in-line with his estimates for Q3.

“JNJ’s Pharma franchises are less affected by COVID-19 than device businesses, which are more directly tied to elective procedures, making the stock attractive for investors concerned about the potential resurgence of COVID-19 infections and the potential corresponding impact on elective surgery trends,” Miksic wrote in a note to investors.

Overall, the rest of the Street shares Miksic’s bullish outlook on the stock. The Strong Buy analyst consensus boasts 7 unanimous Buy ratings. That’s with a $166.86 average price target indicating upside potential of 13% in the coming 12 months.

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