US-based Moderna will today start the final phase of trial of its coronavirus vaccine today, involving about 30,000 participants. Moderna will join Oxford University-AstraZenica and two other Chinese companies whose covid vaccines are already undergoing the phase 3 trial. The US has has suffered more than 1.46 lakh coronavirus-related deaths, the highest in the world even as the number of new cases has continued to surge.
Here are key updates of Moderna coronavirus vaccine trial:
Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine uses synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) to inoculate against the coronavirus.
Such treatments help the body immunize against a virus and can potentially be developed and manufactured more quickly than traditional vaccines.
Ahead of the phase 3 trial, Moderna received an additional $472 million from the U.S. government to support development of its novel coronavirus vaccine.
This takes the total funding from US government for Moderna’s vaccine program to about $1 billion. In April, Moderna had received $483 million from the U.S. federal agency that funds disease-fighting technology.
In the expanded trial starting today, half the 30,000 participants will receive a 100-microgram dose of the vaccine, while the rest will be given a placebo.
Moderna said it remains on track to be able to deliver about 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021.
In a small, initial trial, Moderna’s experimental covid vaccine reported promising results by producing coronavirus antibodies in the bodies of all 45 participants.
Earlier this week, the American-German BioNTech/Pfizer pharmaceutical alliance announced that the US government had committed $1.95 billion to procure 100 million doses of its eventual vaccine.