Moderna, an American biotech company announced on July 14 that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is finally going to enter the final phase on July 27 as it has shown positive results in previous human trials. Undoubtedly, this is a breakthrough and if the vaccine successfully clears the third phase, we will soon get an effective arsenal against the deadly novel virus.
According to the researchers involved in the study, the experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273, was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults. The study results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The results show that the mRNA 1273 is safe and is effective in fighting against SARS-Cov-2 virus. In the first phase of the trial, a total of 45 subjects between the age 18 and 55 participated and were divided into three groups of 15 candidates in each group. They received two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart, of either 25, 100 or 250 micrograms (mcg) of the investigational vaccine.
First stage results of Moderna’s vaccine trial showed the first 45 participants developed antibodies to the virus and no serious adverse events were reported. The interim analysis included results of tests measuring levels of vaccine-induced neutralising activity through day 43 after the second injection.
Two doses of vaccine prompted high levels of neutralising antibody activity that was above the average values seen in convalescent sera obtained from persons with confirmed COVID-19 disease. However, more than half of the participants reported fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia or pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common following the second vaccination and in those who received the highest vaccine dose.
With the successful completion of the second trials that started in the month of May, the researchers are soon to enter the third phase of the trials.