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In what could be a landmark step in the race to find a viable vaccine for the COVID-19 illness, the early results of Moderna's vaccine candidate showed promising signs of immune response to the coronavirus in a few healthy volunteers, according to a Moderna press release.
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Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine shows potentially promising results
Following two doses, every participant in Moderna's human trials as of writing showed good signs of antibody response to the vaccine — called mRNA-1273 — in Phase 1 of the study led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), according to the press release.
However, it's important to note that this small initial study was primarily focused on safety, and as things stand the results don't conclusively show a vaccine fully capable of preventing potential infection from coronavirus transmission, reports Business Insider.
The race to find a viable vaccine to the COVID-19 disease has become a primary goal across all the world's nations in the fight to end the global pandemic. Leaders in the U.S. government have put forward an ambitious timeline to produce a viable vaccine by the end of the year — a process that traditionally takes several years to accomplish.
Moderna aims to be first with viable vaccine, in early 2021
The NIH carried out the human trial, and soon Moderna plans to begin a mid-stage study, with a subsequent late-stage trial set for July. The company aims to disperse the vaccine for emergency use but Fall 2020 — which would represent a timeline more hastened than any comparable in history.
Moderna and NIH have worked together since early January 2020 on this coronavirus vaccine, called mRNA-1273. The biotech makes use of a technology platform known as messenger RNA to design and procure vaccine candidates — using only the virus' genetic code. This is significant because traditional vaccines usually need live virus samples to move forward.
So far mRNA has demonstrated impressive speed — Moderna is the first company to enter clinical trials and is now also the first to release results of human trials. But mRNA has never led to a completed vaccine. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the biotech company now aims to be the first to offer a viable COVID-19 vaccine, with full regulatory approval set for 2021.
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