On Monday, Moderna Therapeutics said in a news release that their coronavirus vaccine has shown promising results in human trials.
The drugmaker said the vaccine has yielded positive results, with a small group of people showing immunity against the virus.
Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, said the vaccine called “mRNA-1273 was generally safe and well-tolerated.”
The company is now planning to move ahead with the next two phases of clinical trials, in which a larger number of people will be tested this year.
The participants were given three different dosages of the vaccine at 25, 100, and 250 micrograms. It was found that all the participants developed detectable antibodies, while eight of them who were given 25 and 100 micrograms responded best. They developed antibodies that were higher than the antibodies found in those who had coronavirus and then recovered.
According to the company, the vaccine uses something known as the messenger RNA approach, which does not require a virus to develop a vaccine.
While discussing the results with reporters, Tal Zaks, Chief Medical Officer at Moderna, said, “I think the totality of science tells us that this is the right antigen and it should be protective.”
The clinical trials are being conducted in association with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The results of the trials have not been peer-reviewed or published in any medical journal.
Currently, there is no vaccine against COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Moderna and other pharma companies are in a race to develop a vaccine against the virus, which has so far affected more than 1.5 million and killed over 91,980 people in the United States alone.
It’s unclear how soon a COVID-19 vaccine might hit the market. NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said it might take up to 12 or 18 months for the development of a vaccine. Currently, at least 90 potential coronavirus vaccines are under trials, and six of them have already being tested on humans to determine their safety and efficacy.