US pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it has launched Phase 3 trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. 

The trial will enroll up to 60,000 volunteers across three continents to study the safety and efficacy of a single vaccine dose versus placebo in preventing the novel coronavirus.

Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said in a statement the firm will hold “standards of safety” and “transparency” during the trial.

New Jersey-based company said it aims to provide one billion doses of a successful vaccine each year.

While delivery of a cure to millions of people around the world remains an issue, the firm said its vaccine, if successful, would not require new infrastructure to get it to the people who need it because it is expected to remain stable for two years at minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 F).

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate will get help from a technology platform that was also used to develop and manufacture an approved Ebola vaccine and construct its HIV vaccine candidates.

The platform has been used to vaccinate more than 100,000 people to date across various vaccine programs.

While the number of global COVID-19 cases is above 31.6 million as of Wednesday, more than 970,000 people have lost their lives, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Johnson & Johnson’s stock price was up by 2.1% at $147.23 per share at the New York Stock Exchange before market opening, after it ended Tuesday at $144.21 per share.

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