Around the world, the vaccine race for Covid-19 is in full swing. While the British recently said they had carried out promising preliminary clinical trials for one of their vaccines, it is now the Americans’ turn to unveil the results of their research. Developed by Moderna, this vaccine would have been proven in monkeys.
A vaccine that prevents the virus from replicating in the lungs and nose
The American biotech company Moderna Inc. has announced that its Covid-19 vaccine trial has shown very promising results. The company said its experimental vaccine elicited a robust immune response against virus infection in a study in monkeys. The vaccine, named MRNA-1273, has thus been administered to non-human primates which have developed protection against infections in the lungs and nose. The vaccine was also effective in preventing lung disease in all animals that used it, the company said in a report. Press release.
To come to this conclusion, three groups of eight rhesus macaques received two injections of 10 or 100 micrograms of the vaccine or a placebo. Note that the vaccine uses messenger RNA, a synthetic form of the virus’s genetic material, to prepare the immune system to attack the real virus if it is infected. The results showed that “ the virus was cleared very quickly in vaccinated animals “Said the Dr Barney Graham, lead author of the study published in the journal Tea New England Journal of Medicine. In contrast, the unvaccinated animals in the control group took longer to get rid of the virus.
It should be noted that the vaccine could not prevent infection with Covid-19, but was effective in preventing it from spreading. The two injection doses have indeed been certified effective in protecting against viral replication of the virus in the lungs and pulmonary inflammation. Higher dose injections have also been effective in protecting against viral replication in the noses of animals. More importantly, strong immune responses were seen in the monkeys given the vaccine.
A promising vaccine, but with an uncertain future
At this time, however, it is impossible to say whether the vaccine is equally effective in humans. Either way, these results are considered encouraging and constitute an important step in the fight against the pandemic. As for the next stage that this vaccine will have to pass, clinical trials in humans, involving at least 30,000 individuals, will have to be carried out for phase III of the tests. According to Moderna, these trials should start providing data at the end of 2020.
The entry into phase III of this vaccine implies that phases I and II of the tests on humans have already been carried out. According to a press release from Moderna announcing the entry into phase III of the vaccine, previous tests have shown that the vaccine was well tolerated and produced an immune response in healthy volunteers. Thus, the future of this vaccine, which successfully passed the first tests, remains uncertain. Either way, scientists from Moderna are optimistic about its effectiveness, since the company has already announced a partnership with Catalent, Inc. for large-scale commercial production of the vaccine.