Moderna has proved encouraging results in first phase of trial of the vaccine to produce antibodies for coronavirus. The trial involved 8 people with different dosages. Antibodies were produced in all the participants.
The American Biotechnology company is trying to create a vaccine before the estimated time of 12 to 18 months, the time mentioned by experts as a requirement to produce a safe vaccine. The company is working in cooperation with the National Institute of Health. The company has already been given the “fast-track” status by the U.S. regulators.
Moderna is among the eight biotech companies worldwide, attempting to develop a vaccine to resist COVID-19, according to WHO. FDA gave permission to Moderna to continue the phase II of the vaccine creation which was expected to involve 600 participants. Phase III is expected in July, the current year.
Participants were given different dosages of the vaccine. Three of the eight participants showed symptoms like flu and fever, who were given 250 mg dosage of the vaccine, but now serious side effects were noted. And the observed symptoms didn’t last more than a day. However, the study team has announced to decrease the future trial dosages to 25 to 50 mg. This will reduce the cost and required amount, causing ease for the company to produce at larger scale.
After results announcement, the company stated that it’ll try to produce the vaccine at global level. Furthermore, the experts are hopeful that the goals will be achieved by January. “In the context of a pandemic, we expect demand to far outstrip supply and the lower the dose the more people we expect to be able to protect,” said Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks.
“These are significant findings but it is a Phase 1 clinical trial that only included eight people. It was designed for safety, not for efficacy,” told Dr. Amesh Adalja, in infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Adalja further told that the results are quite encouraging.
Moderna has already received $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The company told that it will be providing millions of doses per month in 2020 and the numbers will increase by a factor of hundred, by 2021.
The stock shares of the company raised by 20% after the announcement of the company claiming to produce vaccine at global level. However, it shrank by 1.6% after the company’s decision to sell $1.25 billion in common stock in order to raise funds for production of the vaccine.
Even if the vaccine is ready very soon, providing supply for global requirements will still be a major challenge.