Moderna's Early Coronavirus Vaccine Results Show It Can Spur An Immune Response

Two doses of the vaccine triggered the production of antibodies in all 45 patients tested, though the results are still preliminary.


A pharmacist gives Jennifer Haller (left) the first shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Therapeutics.

Early data on a possible COVID-19 vaccine show that it triggered an immune response in all 45 people tested, researchers announced Tuesday.
The preliminary results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, were cautiously viewed as a significant step to quickly develop a vaccine for a virus that has shut down countries and economies around the globe and killed more than 576,000 people so far, including more than 136,000 in the US.
The experimental drug, given in two doses, was developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Moderna Therapeutics and supported by the National Institutes of Health, which began safety testing on 45 subjects in March.
"No matter how you slice this, this is good news," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of NIH, told the Associated Press.
The vaccine being developed by Moderna, mRNA-1273, is one of among more than 155 vaccines, 23 of which are in human clinical trials, being tested and developed around the globe in hopes of curbing the worldwide pandemic.
Moderna is one of six companies that have received significant funding from the federal government to develop a vaccine, part of a $4 billion initiative called "Operation Warp Speed." Moderna has received upward of $500 million as part of the effort.
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The Phase 1 study showed that two doses of the vaccine were able to trigger the production of "neutralizing" antibodies that can help prevent future infections in all 45 people tested. While the study concluded that the virus was safe, some individuals experienced mild side effects including fatigue,chills, headaches, and muscle pains common symptoms experienced by people with COVID-19

On Tuesday, Moderna posted an announcement about their Phase 3 clinical trial, slated to begin on July 27. That trial, named the COVE study, will test 30,000 healthy individuals to see how effective the vaccine is at preventing coronavirus infections versus control subjects who receive a placebo. The study will also look more closely at whether the possible vaccine might affect older adults or those with chronic conditions
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