American drug maker Johnson & Johnson said Monday it plans to begin the human testing phase of its experimental coronavirus vaccine by September 2020, with plans to make it available for emergency use in early 2021.
In January, J&J said it was already working on a possible coronavirus vaccine, using the same technologies with which scientists there developed an experimental Ebola vaccine.
J&J also committed more than $1 billion of investment along with U.S. agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to co-fund vaccine research, expanding a previous collaboration.
Global efforts are underway to develop a vaccine for the virus that has killed over 34,000 worldwide, but experts have cautioned it could take over a year to have a vaccine ready.
A patient was dosed with Moderna Inc's (MRNA.O) vaccine in an early-stage trial earlier this month, making it the front-runner in the race to develop a viable vaccine.