J&J’s coronavirus vaccine candidate prevents severe disease in hamsters

epa01215692 Doctoral student Emily Feneberg holds a hamster whose memory for smells is tested at the Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research in Leipzig, Germany, 03 January 2008. Together with a pharmaceutical company from the US scientists at the institute developed a test that makes an early diagnosis of Alzeheimer possible. The test is likely to come on the market as a blood test before the end of the year. In another joint project with partners from the US, the Netherlands and the UK the Leipzig-based scientists work on a gene therapy, which explores the similarity of phenomena caused by Alzheimer in humans with activities going on in the brains of hibernating hamsters. EPA/WALTRAUD GRUBITZSCH

Sept 3 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday its experimental coronavirus vaccine prevented hamsters from getting severely ill, as the drugmaker seeks to begin large, late-stage studies in humans later this month.

In the pre-clinical study, vaccinated animals lost less weight and had less virus in their lungs and other organs than unvaccinated animals. (

The company began early-stage human trials in the United States and Belgium in July, after details of a study in monkeys showed its best-performing vaccine candidate offered strong protection in a single dose.

Depending on data from the early-stage trial, J&J plans to begin phase 3 testing in the second half of September.

In the pre-clinical study reported on Thursday, Syrian golden hamsters, which are more susceptible to diseases than monkeys, were first vaccinated and then exposed to the novel coronavirus after four weeks.

The researchers found low levels of antibodies that can neutralize the virus were tied to high levels of weight loss and viral replication in the lungs. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)


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  • William Stucke says:

    On an unrelated note, I see that DM has changed its commenting engine. One obvious change is that my Profile, which contained a record of my comments going back years, is no longer visible. What else has changed?

    Let’s see.

  • William Stucke says:

    One immediately obvious improvement is that one can now insert paragraph breaks. This is good, as it greatly improves readability.
    On the other hand, they seem to have gone back to moderating comments. Or is that only me?
    Also, in the past I have seen that paragraph breaks disappear after moderating. And now there seems to be no opportunity whatsoever to go make and correct a typo. You win some, you lose some.
    Why does DM not use Discus? It seems to work well for other sites.

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