Moderna vaccine candidate well on the way

Coronavirus – An experimental coronavirus vaccine from the US biotech company Moderna shows encouraging results after initial tests, according to a study. In the first phase of the clinical tests, the test subjects developed antibodies against the pathogen Sars-CoV-2.

This was explained by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) participating in the study on Tuesday (local time). The 45 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 had no serious side effects, it said.

Subjects who received two injections of the vaccine within two months developed more neutralizing antibodies than people diagnosed with coronavirus infection, Tuesday said. The researchers involved also presented the results in a study in the “New England Journal of Medicine”. The manufacturer Moderna spoke in a message of a “robust immune response”, which is now paving the way for much larger studies on effectiveness.

Further tests in progress

The mRNA-1273 vaccine is to be tested on around 30,000 volunteers by the end of July – in a so-called phase 3 study. In the tests in the first phase, vaccines are only ever tested on a few volunteers, because the primary focus is on Compatibility check goes. After the first positive results, the first phase was expanded to 120 subjects to also test the safety of the vaccine in the elderly. However, the results of the expanded study are not yet available.

Because of the short study period, it was also not yet clear whether and for how long the antibodies could actually protect the test subjects from infection with the coronavirus. The blood of the participants should therefore be checked regularly for the amount of antibodies for a year, the study said.

There are numerous vaccine candidates at various stages worldwide. The tested active ingredients have different functions. Modernas preparation is a so-called RNA vaccine. To date, there are no human vaccines worldwide that use this method.

The Mainz-based biopharma company Biontech and the US company Pfizer are also working on such a vaccine. At the beginning of July, they stated that subjects in phase 1 tests in the United States had developed effective antibodies after an injection of the experimental vaccine BNT 162b1. Larger tests are now to follow.


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