Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine enters Phase I, ‘accelerates’ manufacturing capabilities

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/CasPhotography)
(Image: Getty/CasPhotography)

Related tags: Moderna, Coronavirus, Vaccine

A vaccine for the virus has reached first-in-man stage, as companies race to find a solution to the global crisis.

Moderna’s potential vaccine is known as mRNA-1273 and has been delivered to the first patient as part of a Phase I study determining its safety.

The treatment is currently being developed as part of a team effort, with the trial itself being conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) while the funds for the manufacturing of the clinical material was provided by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The potential vaccine has reached this stage just 63 days after the first sequence selection, as an mRNA vaccine against the coronavirus.

According to Moderna, the advantages of the mRNA vaccine is that it has the ability to mimic natural infection to stimulate an immune response. In addition, the company’s platform was able to move rapidly between discovery to the manufacture of the potential vaccine.

The therapeutic candidate was manufactured out of its Norwood, US, facility, which was opened in July 2018​ in order to produce materials up to the Phase II stage.

Moderna plans to expand trials into the Phase II stage and expects to begin this stage ‘in a few months’. As a result, the company has already begun manufacturing the required material.

The company further added that it “continues to prepare for rapid acceleration of its manufacturing capabilities,”​ with plans to build capacity to be able to manufacture millions of doses of the vaccine candidate, should it prove to be effective.

The latest Phase I trial will include 45 healthy participants, with those administered a two-dose vaccination program, including an interval of 28 days. The adults who receive the vaccine will be evaluated for 12 months after receiving the second dose.

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