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Moderna Reports Initial Immune Response

Moderna has announced that its candidate coronavirus vaccine appears to be able to stimulate an immune response in the first few people who have received it, the New York Times reports.

The phase 1 trial began in March, and volunteers were given either low, medium, or high doses of the candidate vaccine, dubbed mRNA-1273. So far, the firm has reported immunogenicity data from low- and medium-dose groups after two doses and from the high-dose group after one dose as well as neutralizing antibody data from a handful of people in the low- and medium-dose groups. The immunogenicity data suggests the initial patients in each dosing group all seroconverted after one dose and the neutralizing antibody data found such antibodies in all eight patients from whom data was available.

Tal Zaks, the chief medical officer of Moderna tells the Times that the high-dose group is being eliminated from the trial because the lower doses appear to work well. "The lower the dose, the more vaccine we’ll be able to make," Zaks adds.

The Times notes the firm plans its second phase of testing to begin soon and that the third phase is to start in July.