Moderna, a Massachusetts-based company that has manufactured a potential vaccine, announced the encouraging early results from its phase 1 clinical trial Monday morning. Candidates have shown it can prompt a positive immune response in the human body, along with it being safe and well tolerated.
What We Know:
- The phase 1 trial involved 45 people. Results on eight of those participants revealed they developed neutralizing antibodies, which are believed to be key in providing protection from the virus, at levels present in patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19.
- “We could not be happier about this interim data,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said during a conference call with investors Monday. He explained that the results of these test prove a high probability of protection of COVID-19 in humans.
- In total, 45 study participants each received two doses of the vaccine, about a month apart. Participants were given one of three dosage levels: 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms, and 250 micrograms.
- The goal of phase 1 trials is to evaluate the safety of a new drug in a small group of participants, not effectiveness. Phase 2 trials study whether a drug works.
- Moderna stated those who received the two lower doses developed COVID-19 antibodies about two weeks after the second dose. Final information on the 250 microgram dosing was not available.
- Despite these positive results, it is still unclear at this point whether natural infection confers immunity to re-infection, and so similarly it’s not clear if the vaccination confers immunity.
The only side effect, the company reported, was redness around the area where people got the shot. Physicians not involved with the trials expressed optimism based on the study results, even though it’s still relatively early in the clinical trial process.