Hope for Coronavirus Vaccine Grows With Biotech Company’s Research Results

Daniel Fowler
May 19, 2020

United States government leaders have put forward the ambitious timeline to have one by the end of 2020. It could take months for enough of the subjects who are given placebos to be infected with the coronavirus - to demonstrate by comparison the vaccine's effectiveness.

In the first group, aged 18 to 55 years old, 45 healthy people in the Seattle area volunteered to receive doses of the experimental vaccine in mid-March, in a trial done in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Moderna received FDA clearance to begin a Phase II trial of mRNA-1273 on May 6.

The companies agreed to establish manufacturing suites at Lonza's facilities in the US and Switzerland for the production of mRNA-1273.

"The lower the dose, the more vaccine we'll be able to make", Zaks tells The New York Times. Here are the top 3 candidates aiming to be ready this fall.

While the technology is new and hasn't been used in an approved vaccine before, it allows researchers to move fast into trials.

mRNA stands for messenger RNA.

"That will ignite the storm because if there is a vaccine then all this uncertainty about the economy and the virus goes away". The Cambridge, Massachusetts, biotech is now hoping its coronavirus vaccine can be its first, eyeing full regulatory approval in 2021.

The announced sent the company's shares surging more than 39 per cent in premarket trading.

Trump attacks World Health Organization as 'puppet of China'
When it declared a global emergency on January 30, there were fewer than 100 cases outside China, and no deaths, he said.

"We could not be happier about these interim data", Bancel said of the Phase 1 test, the first of three in the development of a vaccine.

"We could not be happier about this interim data", Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said during a conference call with investors Monday.

Tal Zaks is the chief medical officer at Moderna.

Dr. Hoge said eight subjects appeared to have gotten to the point where the antibodies could neutralize the virus and prevent its ability to infect human cells.

The company said eight people who received two small amounts of its vaccine developed antibodies similar to those developed by people who have recovered from the disease.

Follow-up data was more limited for the higher doses, as the volunteers are still being tracked. Individuals need high levels of the antibodies to counteract the virus, so a vaccine would need to make antibodies that last, according to the Post. In the statement, the company says it will focus on 50 microgram and 100 microgram doses in future studies. After being vaccinated, mice were exposed to the novel coronavirus. Additionally, the early human data on levels of neutralising antibodies was consistent with the mice data.

Moderna, the one responsible for this new vaccine, said it has already initiated human vaccine trials and has been an astounding success with all patients developing the much-needed antibodies against the virus. The company noted that at the highest dose level, 250 micrograms, three people had severe but not life-threatening side effects. This is good! But it doesn't mean that the vaccine will work.

Phase 1 clinical trials are expressly created to test for the safety of an experimental treatment, with any considerations about its effectiveness being secondary.

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