WASHINGTON | The u.s. laboratory Moderna announced Monday “data interim positive” of the initial phase of clinical trials of its proposed vaccine against the new coronavirus, on a small number of volunteers.
The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, seemed to elicit an immune response in eight persons, to whom it was administered, of the same magnitude as what we observe among those who have been naturally contaminated with the virus, according to a press release from the laboratory.
The full results of the phase 1 trial, the first in the development of a vaccine, and that includes 45 participants in this case are not yet known.
“These data from interim phase 1, although preliminary, demonstrate that immunization with mRNA-1273 triggers an immune response similar in magnitude as that caused by a natural infection,” said Tal Zaks, medical director of Moderna.
The clinical trial is conducted by the national Institutes of health (NIH), and the u.s. government has invested nearly half a billion dollars in the project of Moderna.
Three groups of 15 patients received three different doses of the vaccine, once or twice.
Phase 2, on a larger number of people, should begin in the near future, and according to Moderna, phase 3, the last and most important to validate the effectiveness of the vaccine, expected to begin in July.
Tests conducted on mice have separately shown that the vaccine prevented the virus to replicate in their lungs, according to the company.
“The team of Moderna continues to focus on the launch of the vital test of phase 3 in July as quickly and safely as possible,” said the boss of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel.