Unexplained patient illnesses: Johnson & Johnson in turn are "pausing" their anti-Covid-19 vaccine trials

After AstraZaneca, it is the turn of another large laboratory, Johnson & Johnson, to stop its clinical trials, due to an unexplained disease contracted by a patient during the test. In a statement, the American lab said the participant's disease was being analyzed and assessed by an external panel as well as by doctors in the group. Bad timing: despite good financial results for the third quarter published today, the stock market began to heckle the title.

Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that it has "put on hold" clinical trials of its potential COVID-19 vaccine due to an unexplained illness contracted by one of the participants.

In a statement, the American laboratory said that the participant's disease was being analyzed and assessed by an external panel as well as by the doctors in the group.

A problem that arises during the publication of financial results

J&J, which released its quarterly financial results on Tuesday (read below), said such pauses were normal in major clinical trials that could include tens of thousands of people.

The company said the "break" during which it will stop administering doses of the candidate vaccine to participants was different from the "regulatory suspension" requested by health authorities.

Serious adverse events are "an expected component of any clinical study, especially large studies," Johnson & Johnson said. Company protocols provide for the suspension of a study to determine whether the serious adverse event is related to the drug being assessed and whether it is possible to resume the trial.

The announcement comes after a similar move by AstraZeneca, which in September suspended large-scale trials of its experimental vaccine due to an unexplained illness contracted by a participant in a study in Britain.

On Wall Street, the share price plunges despite good results

The US pharmaceutical and personal care group performed better than expected in the third quarter.

For the third quarter, revenue reached $ 21.08 billion, up 1.7%. International sales, or 9.9 billion, edged up 0.6% while those in the United States (11.1 billion) climbed 2.7%. Revenue growth was driven by the Pharmaceuticals division, up 5%, and weighing in at $ 11.3 billion. The medical equipment business, on the other hand, fell by 3.6%, affected by the Covid-19 epidemic which has notably led hospitals around the world to postpone numerous surgical, orthopedic or ophthalmic interventions, specifies the group in a statement.

The group has raised its forecast for the full year, with expected revenue between $ 81.2 billion and $ 82 billion and adjusted earnings per share between $ 7.95 and $ 8.05. Its adjusted earnings forecast is between $ 7.75 and $ 7.95. Johnson & Johnson posted net income of $ 3.5 billion or $ 1.33 per share from 1.7 billion or 66 cents per share in the third quarter of 2019, according to results released Tuesday. Adjusted earnings per share, which is the subject of analysts' forecasts, stood at $ 2.20 while the median forecast was at $ 1.98.

However, after this delay in the production of the vaccine, the laboratory's share price - like other stocks in the Big Pharma sector - will have to be watched after the opening of the New York Stock Exchange at 3.30 p.m. French time.

In pre-market trading on the NYSE, around 2:45 p.m., the title plunged -1.13% to $ 150.125, while, a quarter of an hour earlier, at 2:30 p.m., the title was still trading at $ 151.84, slightly increase of 0.58%.

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