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Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial due to subject illness

Johnson & Johnson has paused its COVID-19 vaccine trial due to a subject's illness. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joins the On the Move panel to share the details.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: All right, let's move on to another stock that we are watching closely today, that's Johnson & Johnson. Right now, it's down about 2%. The company reported its earnings today, but there's something that has overshadowed that, and that's that the company has paused it's COVID-19 vaccine trial after an unexplained illness in one of the participants. Our Anjalee Khemlani is here to explain more. This is the second such trial that's been paused for this reason, right Anjalee?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's correct Julie. And it is actually using the same technology as AstraZeneca, which is that trial that you're referencing. So very interesting to see that. So laying it out pretty clearly, it is yet unknown what the adverse effect is, and whether or not it was from a participant independently, basically someone who received the placebo, or actually from the vaccine itself. So that's waiting to be seen. The company does not have any more information and is waiting for an independent advisory board to go through the data, and then advise on whether or not they can restart the trial.

So right now, waiting for that information. And it's important to remember, Johnson & Johnson sort of stands apart in this race because to date, most of the candidates that we've seen as front runners are two dose vaccines. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson is the first one to offer a single shot. And that really boosted a lot of enthusiasm for them. Meanwhile, looking back, AstraZeneca, we're still waiting on that company to restart its trial in the US after pausing last month. The trial has started in the UK again, but the Data Safety and Monitoring Board still looking at it, the regulars are still looking at that trial still. So waiting to hear more on that.

Meanwhile, you know of course by comparison, Moderna and Pfizer, the two front runners in the US using a very different technology, have not hit any serious snags such as this, though we do know that there are some side effects that are sort of anticipated.

JULIE HYMAN: We will keep an eye on all of that. Anjalee, thank you so much. And we are going to have a broader conversation about Johnson & Johnson, this vaccine news, as well as the company's earnings in just a few moments with Joseph Wolk, the Chief Financial Officer of Johnson & Johnson.