New COVID-19 vaccine heads to clinical trial: Here's the release timeline

American corporation Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will send a COVID-19 vaccine candidate into human clinical trials by September 2020 at the latest, assuming nothing unexpected happens. If the vaccine proves successful, the company says that it may be able to get it on the market by as soon as early 2021. The company says it will make vaccines available globally.

Johnson & Johnson reported on Monday, March 30, that it is rapidly scaling up its manufacturing capacity in anticipation of the production of the COVID-19 vaccine. The company has committed to the goal of producing more than one billion vaccine doses, which will eventually be distributed in the US and globally.

With emergency use authorization, the company anticipates that it could have the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine available starting in early 2021. Under an expansion of its partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Johnson & Johnson reveals that it is investing $1 billion to help co-fund the research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as eventual clinical trials of the product.

Assuming everything goes according to plan, the company expects its COVID-19 vaccine to enter Phase 1 Human Clinical Trials by no later than September 2020. The company has been working on its vaccine candidate since January and describes this as a 'substantially accelerated timeframe' compared to how long it usually takes to develop and test a vaccine.

In addition to the vaccine work, Johnson & Johnson says that it will join BARDA in helping fund additional work on developing possible treatments for COVID-19 patients who will develop the condition. The eventual vaccine will be made available for emergency pandemic use 'on a not-for-profit basis,' according to the company.