Initial tests of Moderna's new coronavirus vaccine show positive results by stimulating an immune response against the infection. The manufacturer announced the results on Monday, providing a silver lining in this time of crisis.
The first eight people subjected to the tests were given two doses of the "vaccine." Moderna stated that the experiment must now be explored further and conducted on a larger number up to hundreds then thousands of test subjects.
A ray of hope amid the crisis
The experiments will be carried out to determine if the vaccine can be a cure in the real world. The vaccine is a product of Moderna's technology, which consists of the virus's genetic material known as mRNA. The company is also relatively new, and this vaccine will be its first approved vaccine if all goes well, according to the New York Times.
Moderna's chief medical officer, Dr. Tal Zaks, said If results continue to be positive, the vaccine could be ready by January. He added, "This is absolutely good news and news that we think many have been waiting for for quite some time."
CNN reports that the early data from Phase 1 of the tests which utilize a small number of participants as test subjects. The tests are done to see if the test vaccine triggers an immune response and if it has any side effects.
The National Institutes of Health was in charge of the study whose results are not peer-reviewed and have not been published in any medical journal.
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the medical company is one of eight developers working on a vaccine for the COVID-19, as revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Other manufacturers are also found in the United States, such as Pfizer and Inovio. One other manufacturer is located at the University of Oxford in Britain, and four are also found in China.
The initial findings have resulted in the rise of Moderna's stocks by more than 25% on Monday afternoon, which aided Wall Street in its recent slump after stocks kept crashing into unprecedented levels in the past six weeks.
With the current circumstances brought by the pandemic, vaccines are seen as the best and likely the only way to rid ourselves of the coronavirus.
Several institutes and companies are scrambling to produce a working vaccine in hopes of fighting back against the global pandemic.
Experts have stressed the need for multiple vaccines as the spread of the infection has caused a need for billions of doses that will exceed what any single company can hope to manufacture.
The rush, however, brings about the question of whether the vaccine created in haste will even work on humans or if it will just do more harm.
Moderna is working on an accelerated timetable where they expect to start Phase 2 of their tests that involve 600 subjects, and Phase 3 is set to begin by July. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its go-signal this month for Moderna to move forward with its Phase 2 testing.