Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) has released positive data from its first human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, demonstrating that the healthy volunteers who received the vaccine developed antibody responses.
Moderna’s vaccine in humans shows positive immunity response
The company which had partnered with the National Institute of Health in developing the vaccine indicated that there were significant immune responses from the small number of human volunteers. The trial conducted by the US NIH mainly focused on the safety of the vaccine and if it elicits an immune response.
Already the company is planning to commence a mid-stage study in Late July. Modern targets the vaccine for emergency use by fall, but this appears to be too optimistic considering there is no vaccine development in history that has had such a short timeline. However, Dr. Tal Zaks, the chief medical officer of Moderna, indicated that if the company’s future studies turn positive, they could benefit from the vaccine by January. He added that this was good news that everybody has been waiting.
According to WHO, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is among eight developing COVID-19 vaccines that are already conducting human trials. The other companies include Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) in the US and another in the University of Oxford in the UK and four in China.
The vaccine makes the body produce neutralizing antibodies
Moderna vaccinated dozens of health volunteers and already has measured immune response through the production of antibodies in eight of them. The eight participants showed the development of neutralizing antibodies to coronavirus in levels over what is seen in those who have recovered naturally from COVID-19. The neutralizing antibodies attach to the virus and thus preventing it from attacking body cells.
Dr. Paul Offit of NIH said that the antibodies developed binds to the coronavirus and then prevents it from infecting other cells. The NIH has also tested the vaccine in mice, and it showed that vaccinated mice didn’t have replication of the virus in the lungs after exposure.