Updated July 15, 2020, 7:11 a.m.
The US biotech company Moderna has developed an experimental coronavirus vaccine, which according to a study has achieved encouraging results after initial tests. The subjects developed antibodies against the pathogen SARS-CoV-2. There were no serious side effects among the participants. The vaccine is to be tested on around 30,000 volunteers by the end of July.
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, the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) involved in the study said.
The 45 participants between the ages of 18 and 55 had no serious side effects, it said.
Vaccine will be tested on around 30,000 subjects from the end of July
Subjects who received two injections of the vaccine within two months developed more neutralizing antibodies than people diagnosed with coronavirus infection, Tuesday’s local time 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.
The mRNA-1273 vaccine is to be tested on around 30,000 test subjects by the end of July – in a so-called phase three study. In the tests of the first phase, vaccines are only ever tested on a few volunteers, because the first priority is to test the tolerability.
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.
Numerous vaccine candidates in various stages worldwide
Because of the short study period, it was 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. So far 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 injecting the experimental BNT 162b1 vaccine. Larger tests are now to follow. (ff / dpa)