Moderna Announces Progress in Early COVID Vaccine Trials

Moderna Announces Progress in Early COVID Vaccine Trials
Tthe headquarters of Moderna Inc, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus, in Cambridge, Mass., May 18, 2020 (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Biotech company Moderna announced on Tuesday that a potential coronavirus vaccine has produced a “robust” immune response in all patients participating in early vaccine trials.

The trials centered on three groups of 45 patients, each of whom received the trial vaccine. While preliminary data from the trials was released in May, those results have now been confirmed and were published in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday.

“These Phase 1 data demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits a robust immune response across all dose levels,” Moderna chief medical officer Tal Zaks said. “We look forward to beginning our Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 this month to demonstrate our vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease.”

Moderna is beginning its wide-ranging Pase 3 study of the vaccine on July 27, enlisting 30,000 people who will take two doses of the vaccine, one at the beginning of the trial and another four weeks later. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Monday that he was “cautiously optimistic” regarding Moderna’s potential vaccine.

There are currently 18 potential coronavirus vaccines in human trials throughout the world, and the U.S. is attempting to develop 300 million doses of a vaccine by January 2021 with an effort dubbed Operation Warp Speed. Coronavirus has killed about 138,000 people and infected 3.4 million in the U.S.

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