Moderna protects 16 monkeys from the virus; 30,000 humans are waiting

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Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate protected against the virus in a trial that inoculated 16 monkeys, an encouraging step on the road to human defense against the pandemic.Two injections of the vaccine protected against high exposure to the virus at two different dosage levels, Moderna said in results published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The primates showed no signs of creating increased disease, a problem that has sometimes been associated with vaccines.

While the data is encouraging, a much larger test is underway for Moderna, involving 30,000 humans. The phase 3 trial to determine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine will begin producing data in November or December. The vaccine uses messenger RNA, a synthetic form of the virus’s genetic material designed to push the body’s immune system into attack mode. The US government is providing US $ 955 million to help fund vaccine development.

Moderna stock rose 1.7 percent to US $ 81.24 as of 3:50 p.m. in New York City.



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