mRNA-1273 received the FDA's Fast Track designation on May 12. "Whether the same benefits are seen in older age groups we do not know but that may be because they were recruited at a later stage".
Tal Zaks is the chief medical officer at Moderna.
"Our goal is to have a vaccine available for broad distribution by year-end or early next year", Dr. Hoge said. Thus, he said, "the degree of confidence within the company was always high" that it would succeed this time, too.
United States stocks surged at the opening bell on Monday boosted by news from drug maker Moderna about a potential coronavirus vaccine and the promise of more fiscal and monetary stimulus to support the USA economy.
The results are based on a Phase 1 clinical trial of the vaccine, which was given in two doses to eight healthy volunteers. But in all eight people, the vaccine successfully stimulated the body to create antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus in the test tube, so it can no longer infect cells. The company noted that at the highest dose level, 250 micrograms, three people had severe but not life-threatening side effects.
But the big news Monday was USA biotech firm Moderna reporting "positive interim" results in early testing of a vaccine candidate, with some analysts suggesting that if all goes well it could be in use by the end of the year.
Two weeks after the first group of 15 participants received their second dose of 25 µg of the vaccine, the level of antibodies in their blood was comparable to the level found in blood samples taken from people who had recovered from COVID-19.
The Phase 2 trial, with 600 patients, will begin shortly, according to the company.
The vaccine was "generally safe and well tolerated", Moderna said.
While we don't expect the vaccine development to impact moats or valuations for the large cap drug firms, a vaccine holds the potential to reopen normal activities globally. Moderna is allied with the National Institutes of Health and recently partnered with Lonza to manufacture mRNA-1273. Nonetheless, Zaks said the high dosage would be taken out of future studies since the lower dosage seemed to work better. In April, the USA government gave the company $483 million for vaccine development. Antibodies are not synonymous with real-world immunity.
Highly cyclical iron and steel, air transport and sea transport were the top three performing sectors on the main bourse. That phase will also look at the effectiveness of a 50 microgram dose.
Here, Moderna has isolated a segment of genetic material called mRNA-1273 from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that codes for the Spike protein.
Moderna recently announced a partnership with the giant drugmaker Lonza to boost its manufacturing capacity to up to one billion doses a year.
As of now, this is the very first COVID-19 vaccine that passed the first round of clinical trials despite the numerous potential vaccines out there.