The coronavirus vaccine by Moderna pharmaceutical company, one of the first to be tested on humans, has produced positive results, sending hopes across the world for an early vaccine.
The Massachusetts-based drug maker said a small number of people who were tested showed an immunity against the virus. The vaccine called mRNA-1273 “was generally safe and well tolerated.”
The company announced it was planning to go ahead with the next two phases, in which larger numbers of people will be tested this year.
The news release said three different dosage levels — 25, 100 and 250 micrograms — were given to 45 participants, and all of them developed detectable antibodies.
But the eight people who received doses of 25 and 100 micrograms in March responded best, developing antibodies that were just as high or higher than the antibodies found in people who’d gotten the coronavirus and then recovered, the company said. The vaccine uses something called the messenger RNA approach. It does not require a virus to make the vaccine.
“I think the totality of science tells us that this is the right antigen and it should be protective,” Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, said Monday on a call with journalists to discuss the results.
The testing is being done in coordination with the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It has not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.