THE FIRST COVID-19 vaccine to be tested on humans has produced positive initial results.
According to Moderna, the company behind the treatment, the vaccine appears to be safe and, crucially, capable of stimulating the necessary immune response to combat the virus.
The announcement is based on the results of an initial clinical trial involving eight human test subjects who were given two doses of the vaccine mRNA-1273 back at the start of March.
The healthy volunteers then produced antibodies which, when tested in human cells, were found to be able to stop the virus from replicating.
Moderna say the levels of antibodies found also matched the levels discovered in individuals who contracted the virus and later recovered.
The company also noted that the vaccine was “generally safe and well tolerated” with the only adverse effect coming with one volunteer, who noted redness around the skin where the vaccine as injected.
Moderna now plan to move forward with the next phase of vaccine trials, on an accelerated timeline, involving 600 test subjects.
According to Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, researchers will now be "moving as fast as safely possible to start our pivotal Phase 3 study in July."
The company is also investing to scale up its manufacturing capacity in order to maximize the number of vaccines it can produce.
While several studies exploring potential vaccines are ongoing, Moderna’s is the first to yield results from a trial involving human test subjects.