Economy

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial: Biggest hurdles are ahead

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial: Biggest hurdles are ahead”

"We're quite pleased with the breadth of the immune response so far", Dr. Hoge said on "CBS This Morning".

Engineers in China work on an experimental vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Quality Control Laboratory at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing. NY time Monday, its stock offering at 4:18 p.m. (18 minutes after the stock market closed) and the offering price at 10:32 p.m. The vaccine produced antibodies in all 45 healthy volunteers who participated in the study.

In 25 people who got either of the two smaller doses used in the study, researchers reported that the levels of antibodies equaled or exceeded the levels of antibodies found in patients who had recovered from the virus.

The findings are based on results from the first eight people who each received two doses of the vaccine, starting in March.

Yes, but: The data is limited, and there's no data yet on people older than 55 - a group that is at the highest risk of getting infected.

Heavy hearts soared Monday with news that Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine candidate - the frontrunner in the American market - seemed to be generating an immune response in Phase 1 trial subjects.

Early trials of a Cambridge-based biotechnology company's COVID-19 vaccines appear to have shown positive results.

Moderna soon will start its Phase 2 trial on 600 people on an unspecified date and will begin its Phase 3 trial on 1,000 people in July.

More news: UN chief warns psychological suffering from virus is growing

While researchers highlight there is a limit on how much clinical trials can be accelerated, they also point out that unlike with previous vaccine development efforts, the timeline for the availability of an effective COVID-19 vaccine is to be measured not in years but months. "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".

The Moderna vaccine is made using messenger RNA, or mRNA, a molecule containing the genetic instructions to make a protein on the coronavirus surface that is recognized by our immune systems.

In a conference call, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the preliminary tests inspired confidence that mRNA-1273 has "a high probability to provide protection" against the virus.

The results have not been published and are only from the first of three stages of testing that vaccines and drugs normally undergo. This particular vaccine is developmentally backed by the United States government and Phase 1 trialing was led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Zhu Min, former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund and now head of the National Financial Research Institute at Tsinghua University, echoed that the optimism in the stock market is exclusively supported by the large amount of liquidity for now. A high dose version is being dropped after spurring some short-term side effects.

"We're doing our best to make it as many millions [of doses] as possible [when the time comes]", Zaks says to the Times.

President Donald Trump has said that he wants 300 million vaccine doses by January 2021 to protect the USA population, and his administration has provided funding to Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and France's Sanofi.



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