Moderna Covid-19 vaccine poised for final trials in US
UAE is also pushing ahead with efforts to develop two types of coronavirus vaccine
The first potential coronavirus vaccine tested in the US caused all 45 volunteers in an early-stage trial to produce antibodies.
The vaccine, which was made by US biotech company Moderna, will begin the final stage of human trials on July 27, after encouraging results from an initial test were published on Tuesday.
“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert, said.
The phase 3 trial will recruit 30,000 volunteers in the US, with half of them to receive the vaccine at 100 microgram dose levels, and the other half to be given a placebo.
The trial will show whether the vaccine is safe and can prevent infection by the virus or, if people still get infected, whether it can prevent the infection progressing towards symptoms.
The announcement came after The New England Journal of Medicine published results from the first stage of Moderna's vaccine trial, which showed the first 45 participants all developed antibodies to the virus.
The participants were split into three groups of 15 to test doses of 25 micrograms, 100 micrograms and 250 micrograms.
They were given a second dose of the same amount 28 days later.
After the first round, antibody levels were found to be higher with higher doses.
After the second round, participants had higher levels of antibodies than most patients who have had Covid-19 and gone on to generate their own antibodies.
Coronavirus around the world
Moderna is considered to be in a leading position in the global race to find a vaccine against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 13.4 million people and killed 580,000.
Chinese biotech company Sinovac announced it would begin phase 3 trials of its vaccine.
The UAE is also is pushing ahead with efforts to develop two types of Covid-19 vaccine, which are being tested on more than 15,000 volunteers.
It is on the third stage of the clinical trials and if either vaccine is confirmed to be safe and effective, it will move to the manufacturing stage.
On Sunday, Russian news agency Tass announced researchers in the country completed clinical trials on a vaccine, although they had not yet shared their data.
But scientists gave a warning that the first vaccines to come to market may not be the most effective or safest.
Updated: July 15, 2020 10:01 PM