First COVID-19 vaccine tested by Moderna shows promising results

The first COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc., US seems to have cleared a major hurdle and has shown promising results.

The US biotechnology company, Moderna said its studies, although in an early stage, showed the vaccine, m-RNA 1273, was “generally safe and well-tolerated”.

The vaccine tested on first eight people who recieved 2 doses each were able to stimulate an immune response against the novel virus, said Moderna on Monday.

“This is a very good sign that we make an antibody that can stop the virus from replicating,” Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in an interview. The data “couldn’t have been better,” he said.

An analysis of the response in the eight individuals showed that those who received a 100 microgram dose and people who received a 25 microgram dose had levels of protective antibodies to fend of the virus that exceeded those found in the blood of people who recovered from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Moderna has been given permission to begin its Phase-2 trial of 50 mcg of the vaccine soon, which involves 600 people. Trial-3 will begin in June, involving around thousands of healthy people.

Moderna is one of a handful of pharmaceutical companies that have skyrocketed amid the coronavirus crisis as they race to develop drugs to prevent or treat the disease.

As the global dealth toll reaches 3 lakhs, Experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12-18 months from the start of development, which in Moderna’s case was in January.