The pharmaceutical company Moderna announced on Monday that its coronavirus vaccine showed promising results in an early drug trial consisting of eight people, The New York Times reports.
The coronavirus vaccine, the first to be tested on people, found that all eight people in the trail developed antibodies similar to people who have recovered from the virus after they each received two doses.
The vaccine will now be tested on hundreds and then thousands more people to determine its effectiveness and potential side effects.
The next phase, which will involve 600 people, is scheduled to begin soon and a large-scale trial of thousands of people is planned for July.
The company’s stock soared more than 25% on Monday in response to the news.
Moderna using new technology:
The Moderna vaccine uses genetic material from the coronavirus called mRNA.
The technology is relatively new and has not yet produced a successful vaccine. But the technology can be adapted for “each new viral threat,” the Times reported.
The new experimental vaccine was developed with the National Institutes of Health. The vaccine requires two shots spaced four weeks apart.
If the upcoming trials go well, the vaccine could be available as soon as late 2020 or early 2021.
Other companies rush too:
Moderna is one of many companies rushing to be the first vaccine approved to the general public.
Pfizer, the Chinese company CanSino, and the University of Oxford, in partnership with the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, are all working on their own vaccine.
Experts say it will probably require multiple types of vaccines to reach billions of people.
Moderna recently inked a deal with Swiss drug maker Lonza to produce up to one billion doses per year.