Encouraging results for Moderna’s vaccine

One of two experimental COVID-19 vaccines for which Canada has reserved doses so far has seen encouraging new results in animal testing.

According to a study published in the journal Nature Wednesday, the experimental vaccine mRNA-1273 from the American biotech Moderna generated neutralizing antibodies in rodents after two intramuscular injections.

Scientists exposed a group of mice to the coronavirus five weeks later and another group 13 weeks later.

In both cases, the vaccine prevented the coronavirus from replicating in the cells of the lungs and nose.

The researchers also noted the appearance of CD8 cells which are also part of the immune system.

Along with Pfizer, also an American group, Moderna is one of the two companies with which Canada has agreed so far to secure millions of doses of experimental vaccines.

It is unknown, however, how much Canada is willing to pay for these doses or their exact amount.

These could begin to be delivered in the course of the next year if the clinical trials are conclusive, said Wednesday the Minister of Public Services and Supply, Anita Anand.

Moderna is in the lead of the global race to discover a vaccine against COVID-19 with Pfizer and the British University of Oxford, among others.

A first indication

Animal studies generally precede clinical trials in humans and aim to provide an initial indication of the safety and harmlessness of the product, although this does not guarantee the vaccine’s effect in humans thereafter.

These results are published about ten days after Moderna has entered the final phase of human trials, which will involve 30,000 participants and which will seal the future of the program.

Cautious optimism

A week ago, the American company also unveiled another study according to which its candidate vaccine had triggered a “robust” immune response in primates.

Remember that the technology used by Moderna has yet to prove itself, since it has never proven its effectiveness against other viruses.

For their part, the Canadian authorities have warned that vaccination should not be seen as a miracle solution against the pandemic, in particular because the vaccine (s) may not be accessible to everyone from the start.

The government therefore estimates that the daily life of the population could be turned upside down for another two to three years.

– With AFP

Moderna’s vaccine

  • One of the most advanced in the world
  • Based on messenger RNA technology, which aims to activate the immune system by providing it with the genetic information of the coronavirus
  • A phase 3 clinical trial began on July 27 in the United States to test it on 30,000 people
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