Moderna’s share price gained over 16% on Tuesday after the U.S drugmaker disclosed that its potential vaccine in containing the COVID-19 virus had produced a “robust” immune response in all the 45 patients in its first phase of the human trial, according to data released yesterday night in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.
In a report credited to CNBC, about 45 patients produced neutralizing antibodies, which scientists believe is important for building immunity. It also provided more promising data that the vaccine may give some protection against the coronavirus. In the trial, each participant received a 25, 100 or 250 microgram dose, with 15 people in each dose group. Participants received two doses of the potential vaccine.
“After two vaccinations, the COVID-19 vaccine generated a “robust” immune response in all participants in all dose cohorts,” Moderna said. The company also disclosed that the levels of neutralizing antibodies in patients in the high dose group were fourfold higher than in recovered COVID-19 patients.
“These Phase 1 data demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits a robust immune response across all dose levels and clearly support the choice of 100 µg in a prime and boost regimen as the optimal dose for the Phase 3 study,” Moderna’s chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, said in a statement. “We look forward to beginning our Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 this month to demonstrate our vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease.”
Quick fact about COVID-19: Although for some individuals, the COVID-19 virus causes only mild illness, it can make other individuals seriously ill. The disease can be very fatal, especially among older individuals, and those with compromised immunities (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems) appear to be more susceptible.
Recall that about a month ago, Nairametrics reported news of a series of tests carried on laboratory mice with Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine showing hope that it might not increase the risk of more serious diseases and that one dose might provide protection against the COVID-19 virus.
Moderna also disclosed that the COVID-19 vaccine was generally well-tolerated, though more than half of the participants reported mild or moderate symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches, or pain at the injection site.