J&J pulls out of RSV vaccine race with rivals Pfizer and GSK

A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday, he said he was withdrawing from the race for the RSV vaccine, weeks after competitors Pfizer And GSK moved closer to launching the world’s first vaccine against the deadly virus.

J&J will cease work on its experimental RSV vaccine program for adults and halt a pivotal phase three trial testing the vaccine, the company announced in a press release. The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based healthcare giant based its decision on a portfolio review “to prioritize the most transformative assets for continued investment.”

investment related news


“By periodically refocusing our portfolio, Janssen ensures that we invest deeply in products that have the power to transform patients’ lives,” said Dr. Bill Hait, executive vice president of J&J, in the release. “We remain focused on advancing our differentiated pipeline, improving the lives of millions of patients, and developing new modalities in areas of greatest unmet medical need.” Janssen is the pharmaceutical division of J&J.

J&J shares were relatively flat following the announcement.

Respiratory syncytial virus is a common virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but older people and infants can get more serious infections that can lead to hospitalization or death.

The virus kills 6,000 to 10,000 elderly people and a few hundred children under the age of five each year. RSV cases rose unexpectedly in the United States last winter, overwhelming children’s hospitals across the country. Since then, the race to create the world’s first RSV vaccine has garnered more attention than ever.

J&J first launched its phase three trial in September 2021, enrolling approximately 23,000 adults aged 60 and older. A phase two trial of the company’s RSV vaccine found it provided 80% protection against serious RSV infections.

But the company was still trailing rivals Pfizer and GSK, both of which have made big strides towards getting their shots approved by the United States over the past month.

FDA advisers recommended the injections from both drugmakers despite the risks of a rare neurological disorder. An FDA review of Pfizer’s vaccine found it protected about 86% against lower respiratory diseases with three or more symptoms, while a similar review of GSK’s vaccine found it was effective at 83%.

Drug manufacturer Modern also has its own potential RSV vaccine, which has worked well in clinical trials.

cnbc-health care

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button