Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine may 'neutralize' the virus in humans

Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine may 'neutralize' the virus in humans

Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine may 'neutralize' the virus in humans

People who received two doses at 100 microgram had binding antibody levels that "significantly exceeded" the levels seen in the blood of Covid-19 survivors.

Moderna has vaccinated dozens of study participants and measured antibodies in eight of them.

Only eight of the 25 volunteers receiving the lower doses were able to participate in follow-up antibody testing because of the length of time it required. "Moncef-Slaoui-Appointment-Oversee" target="_blank">was named Chief Scientist for Trump's "Operation Warp Speed" COVID-19 vaccine hunt last week, is Moderna's former director, and holds $10 million in stock options in the company.

In the phase 1 study, the participants were all healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years.

Once a vaccine is proved in clinical testing to work safely, drugmakers expect the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would move quickly to permit its use, even if the agency doesn't have all the evidence it typically collects before granting approval.

The company has said that it is proceeding on an accelerated timetable, with the second phase involving 600 people to begin soon, and a third phase to begin in July involving thousands of healthy people.

In upcoming phases of the trial, researchers will be trying to strike a balance around the effectiveness of the vaccine at lower doses - because the lowest effective dose will allow for greater production volume when the time comes.

Four participants were assigned to receive a 25 microgram dose, while the other four received 100 micrograms.

Moderna is touting preliminary data from a limited coronavirus vaccine trial. An updated edition of the list is set for publication this week.

"It shows that not only did the antibody bind to the virus, but it prevented the virus from infecting the cells", said Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the NIH panel that's setting a framework for vaccine studies in the US.

If those trials go well, a vaccine could become available for widespread use by the end of this year or early 2021, said Dr Tal Zaks, Moderna's chief medical officer. "We are convinced that with our expertise and advanced technology we are well-positioned to fight viral outbreaks such as the current one and that our approach may provide the best chance to protect many people from SARS-CoV-2 and other health threats", he said in a statement.

The companies agreed to establish manufacturing suites at Lonza's facilities in the US and Switzerland for the production of mRNA-1273.

It is looking to begin late-stage trials in July.

"The likelihood is we won't have enough to vaccinate even the entire USA population" when a vaccine first becomes available, he said.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company has continued to rally despite potential safety concerns around the highest doses of its experimental vaccine. All of the symptoms resolved within a day, a Moderna executive said on a conference call Monday. There were no Grade 4 or life-threatening adverse events recorded in the trial.

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