Moderna says initial COVID-19 vaccine results are positive

Preliminary results from the first human study of Moderna Inc.'s experimental coronavirus vaccine show the vaccine induced an immune response in some of the healthy volunteers who were vaccinated. In addition, the vaccine appears to be generally safe and well-tolerated, Moderna said.

Preliminary results from the first human study of Moderna Inc.'s experimental coronavirus vaccine show the vaccine induced an immune response in some of the healthy volunteers who were vaccinated. In addition, the vaccine appears to be generally safe and well-tolerated, Moderna said. According to Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, the early data indicate that the vaccine, code-named mRNA-1273, "has a very good chance to provide protection" from COVID-19. If the vaccine proves to work safely in subsequent tests, it could be ready for emergency use as early as this fall. FDA recently gave Moderna permission to launch the second phase of testing, and the company hopes to start the final phase in July. The company designed its vaccine, which contains messenger RNA, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in January and quickly manufactured doses for testing. NIAID is leading the clinical study that started in March. In the ongoing study, which aims to enroll up to 105 people, participants will each receive two doses about 4 weeks apart. The study data reported Monday involved 45 individuals aged 18-55 years who received three different dose levels of the vaccine. The study will enroll an additional 60 participants older than age 55 years. Researchers note the preliminary data is promising, but they warn that more testing is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. "This is just the very beginning of the clinical work," said Barney Graham, MD, deputy director of the vaccine-research center at NIAID.