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The deal comes after a study showed Johnson & Johnson’s candidate vaccine generated strong antibody response in primates and provided protection with a single dose.
All animals that were exposed to the pandemic-causing pathogen 6 weeks after the injection were immune except one, who showed low levels of the virus.
J&J announced in June that it had accelerated vaccine trials with ambitions of launching human studies in mid-July. The company will dose its first patients on 22 July in Belgium.
The healthcare giant has faced lawsuits accusing it of hiding the cancer risks tied its talc-based version of baby powder since 2014.
The US-govt-sponsored study may help Johnson & Johnson's fight against 17,000 lawsuits contending that talc-based personal hygiene products cause ovarian cancer in women.
The company suggested that contamination of a lab, which it recreated in several of its own third-party tests, could have caused the FDA’s positive result.
Last week, US Food and Drug Administration issued an alert that a particular lot of J&J’s baby powder had tested positive for asbestos — a carcinogen.
J&J has been under scanner for long, but this is the first time FDA has announced a finding of asbestos. Recent lab tests in India had found the product fit.
The Rajasthan FDA in March had claimed that two batches of J&J baby shampoo were found contaminated with formaldehyde, a carcinogen.
The Delhi High Court said it hadn't examined the controversy so this payment won't limit patients from seeking further compensation.
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