Johnson & Johnson has temporarily paused its clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidate due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.
The ailment is being reviewed and evaluated by an independent data and safety monitoring board as well as the company’s clinical and safety physicians, the company said in a statement. The company declined to elaborate on the illness due to privacy concerns.
In September, J&J reported that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine had produced a strong immune response against the novel coronavirus in an early-to-mid stage clinical trial. Following the positive result, the company initiated the final trial involving 60,000 persons, the result of which had been expected by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
The pause in clinical trial follows a similar one by AstraZeneca. In September, AstraZeneca had to pause late-stage trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, due to an unexplained illness in a UK study participant.
While trials in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and India have resumed, the US trial AstraZeneca vaccine is still on hold pending a regulatory review.