Moderna Announces Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Clears First Round Of Testing

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Moderna announced on Monday that its first phase of coronavirus vaccine testing has been a complete success: the potential vaccine had “produced Covid-19 antibodies in all 45 participants.”

CNBC News reports:

Each participant received a 25, 100 or 250 microgram dose, with 15 people in each dose group. Participants received two doses of the potential vaccine via intramuscular injection in the upper arm approximately 28 days apart.

At day 43, or two weeks following the second dose, levels of binding antibodies in the 25 microgram group were at the levels generally seen in blood samples from people who recovered from the disease, the company said. Those in the 100 microgram had antibodies that “significantly exceeded levels” in recovered patients.

And:

The vaccine also produced neutralizing antibodies against Covid-19 in at least eight participants, the company said. Experts have said neutralizing antibodies appear to be important in acquiring protection.

Four participants were assigned to receive a 25 microgram dose, while the other four received 100 micrograms. Levels of neutralizing antibodies were at or above levels seen in blood samples, the company said.

According to the report, the announcement was followed by a 17 percent jump in Moderna’s stock value.

The company plans to move onto Phase 2 of testing, to include 600 people, sometime soon. They have also announced they are looking to conduct Phase 3 of testing with “thousands of people.”

Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks confirmed the drug his company was testing, mRNA-1272, “has the potential to prevent COVID-19.”

“These interim Phase 1 data, while early, demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits an immune response of the magnitude caused by natural infection starting with a dose as low as 25 [micrograms],” he said in a statement via CNBC News.

“When combined with the success in preventing viral replication in the lungs of a pre-clinical challenge model at a dose that elicited similar levels of neutralizing antibodies, these data substantiate our belief that mRNA-1273 has the potential to prevent COVID-19 disease and advance our ability to select a dose for pivotal trials,” Zaks added.

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