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Janssen’s single dose Covid-19 vaccine is 66% effective, the Belgian company has announced.

However, nobody needed hospital treatment or died from coronavirus after the vaccine took effect in the international trial.

Crucially, the trial looked at giving just one dose of the vaccine, which makes it significantly easier to roll out than those requiring two.

Although there are also signs the vaccine is less effective against the new variant that is spreading in South Africa.

The news comes shortly after Novavax announced their vaccine was 89% effective overall in the UK and 60% in South Africa. Both new vaccines will need to be reviewed by regulators before they can be used.

Janssen, a pharmaceutical company owned by Johnson & Johnson, is also investigating whether giving two doses will give either stronger or longer-lasting protection.

The fact the vaccine works as a single dose and can be kept in a standard fridge, while others need super-cold storage, means the vaccine could have a significant role around the world.

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Dr. Paul Stoffels, the chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, said: “A one-shot vaccine is considered by the World Health Organization to be the best option in pandemic settings.”

He added the vaccine could “potentially protect hundreds of millions of people from serious and fatal outcomes of Covid-19”.

Janssen is aiming to make one billion doses in 2021.

The Janssen vaccine uses a common cold virus that has been engineered to make it harmless.

The vaccine then safely carries part of the coronavirus’s genetic code into the body. This is enough for the body to recognize the threat and then learn to fight coronavirus.

This trains the body’s immune system to fight coronavirus when it encounters the virus for real.

This is similar to the approach used by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

Dr Mathai Mammen, from Janssen, said: “A single dose regimen with fast onset of protection and ease of delivery and storage provides a potential solution to reaching as many people as possible.

“The ability to avoid hospitalizations and deaths would change the game in combating the pandemic.”

The results are based on nearly 44,000 people who took part in the trial and 468 cases of Covid-19.

However, the Janssen vaccine was just 57% effective in the South African part of the trial, where a new version of the coronavirus is spreading, compared with 72% in the US.


Johnson & Johnson has decided to stop selling its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the US and Canada.

The healthcare giant faces many thousands of lawsuits from consumers who claim that its talc products caused their cancer.

The company’s decision comes after years of litigation where it has been ordered to pay out billions of dollars in compensation.

J&J has consistently defended the safety of its talc products.

The company said it would wind down sales of the product, which makes up about 0.5% of its US consumer health business, in the coming months, but that retailers would continue to sell existing inventory.

It faces more than 16,000 consumer lawsuits alleging that the company’s talc products were contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

Image source Flickr

With Johnson & Johnson in the limelight, what are the hidden dangers of talcum powder?

Talcum Powder Case: Johnson and Johnson Ordered to Pay $110 Million to Lois Slemp

J&J Talc-Powder Case: Gloria Ristesund to Receive $55 Million in Compensation

Johnson & Johnson said that demand for Johnson’s Baby Powder had been declining in North America “due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product”.

It said it had faced “a constant barrage” of lawyers advertising for clients to sue the company.

“We remain steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder. Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product,” it said.

J&J added that the move was part of a reassessment of its consumer products prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in October that its testing had found no asbestos in its Baby Powder after tests conducted by the FDA discovered trace amounts.

Johnson & Johnson is appealing against a 2018 order to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.


Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered by a US court to pay more than $110 million to a woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after using its talcum powder.

Lois Slemp, 62, from Virginia, Missouri said she developed the cancer after four decades of using talc products.

Prosecutors argued J&J did not adequately warn about the cancer risks associated with the items.

Experts say links with ovarian cancer are unproven. The pharmaceutical company says it will appeal.

The verdict in a St Louis state court is the largest so far to arise out of about 2,400 lawsuits against J&J over its talc-based products, Reuters reports.

Lois Slemp is currently undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in 2012 returned and spread to her liver.

Image source Flickr

She said the products she used included J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.

“Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” said Ted Meadows, a lawyer for Lois Slemp.

The verdict included $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages against J&J.

J&J said it planned to appeal and said in a statement: “We are preparing for additional trials this year and we continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.

“We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer.”

J&J lost three jury verdicts in 2016 in cases related to its talc-based products, but won its first trial in March, when a jury in Missouri sided with the company.


J&J has been ordered to pay more than $55 million in compensation to Gloria Ristesund, who says the company’s talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer.

Gloria Ristesund, 62, said she used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powder products for decades.

J&J – which faces about 1,200 similar claims – insists its products are safe and says it will appeal.

Researchers say links with ovarian cancer are unproven.

In February, the pharmaceutical company paid $72 million in a similar case.Talc powder ovarian cancer

Gloria Ristesund was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 and had to undergo a hysterectomy and related surgeries. Her cancer is now in remission.

Following a three-week trial in a Missouri state court, Gloria Ristesund was awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

Gloria Ristesund’s lawyer, Jere Beasley, said his client was gratified with the verdict. The jury’s decision should “end the litigation”, he said, and force J&J to settle the remaining cases.

J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said the verdict contradicted 30 years of research supporting the safety of cosmetic talc.

She said the company intends to appeal and will keep defending its products’ safety.

The case follows another one in February, in which J&J was ordered to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who claimed her death was linked to use of the company’s Baby Powder talc.

Jackie Fox from Birmingham, Alabama, who died of ovarian cancer in 2015 at the age of 62, had used the talc for decades.

Her family argued that J&J knew of talc risks and failed to warn users.

The company is appealing against that verdict, which sparked renewed interest in talc-powder lawsuits.

Lawyers accuse J&J of failing to warn that talc was linked to an increased risk for ovarian cancer – a claim the company denies. There are 1,200 other cases pending.

J&J shares were down 18 cents in after-hours trading to $112.57.

US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson say they will stop development of Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab, because it failed in two late-stage clinical trials.

Bapineuzumab, made by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, was designed to halt build-up of plaque in the brain.

But it failed to improve cognitive or functional performance compared with a placebo in certain patients.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, as well as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

An estimated 36 million people worldwide are believed to have dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

Bapineuzumab, made by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, was designed to halt build-up of plaque in the brain

Bapineuzumab, made by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, was designed to halt build-up of plaque in the brain

Both firms announced on 23 July that the first clinical trial of the intravenous (IV) version of bapineuzumab had failed.

In that study, patients with a gene that is associated with a greater risk of Alzheimer’s were tested.

But results with the group were largely the same as with those who did not have the gene, who were tested in the second study.

The second trial’s end means that additional studies on the IV version will not take place; however, Johnson and Johnson said a study of subcutaneous use would continue.

Some had predicted that the IV studies of bapineuzumab would fail because they were treating those whose brains were already damaged.

“One of the strong thoughts in the field is that you really have to treat people before they become demented,” William Thies, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer’s Association told Reuters, adding that the announcement did not prevent the drug from being tested as a preventative.

And William Thies said that despite the trial’s failure, data from the experiment could still be useful.

“These studies are terribly important for us to learn about Alzheimer’s disease, and that part of the process is just starting as the data continues to be crunched in a variety of ways.”

Johnson and Johnson had agreed in 2009 to invest up to $1.5 billion in bapineuzumab.

In a statement, Steven Romano, head of Pfizer’s Medicines Development Group said they were “obviously very disappointed” with the trial’s outcome.

“We are also saddened by the lost opportunity to provide a meaningful advance for patients afflicted with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” he said.

A similar drug being developed by Eli Lilly, solanezumab, is also considered a long-shot to succeed, but results of the trials will not be available until later this year.