Moderna says coronavirus vaccine boosts immune system response in older people

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Biotech company Moderna announced on Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate elicited immune responses in the elderly from a phase 1 study at levels comparable to those seen in young adults. The results were published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The vaccine candidate, called mRNA-1273, “induced consistently high levels” of neutralizing antibodies in 40 healthy participants from two age cohorts – 56-70 and 71 years and older – according to the company announcement. .

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Biotech company Moderna announced on Tuesday that its coronavirus vaccine candidate elicited immune responses in the elderly from a phase 1 study at levels comparable to those seen in young adults. (iStock)

“These interim phase 1 data suggest that mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19, may generate neutralizing antibodies in older and older adults at levels comparable to those in younger adults,” Dr Moderna’s chief medical officer Tal Zaks said in the announcement. “Given the increased morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 in older and older adults, these data give us optimism to demonstrate protection of mRNA-1273 in this population, which is under evaluation in the phase 3 COVE study.

MODERNA SEES ‘POSITIVE’ PHASE I DATA FOR POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS VACCINE

The data were from a second interim analysis that evaluated a two-dose vaccination given 28 days apart in two dose levels, 25 micrograms (µg) and 100 micrograms, reporting results one month after the second dose.

“This analysis revealed that the doses of 25 µg and 100 µg were generally well tolerated in both age cohorts,” according to the announcement.

The 100 microgram dose elicited higher antibody levels, “supporting the choice of the 100 µg dose for further study in the phase 3 trial.” Moderna previously announced plans to use the 100 microgram dose in its advanced stage trial, which will recruit up to 30,000 volunteers in the U.S. As of September 25, 27,232 participants were enrolled, of which 30% were from diverse communities.

CORONAVIRUS WAS EVEN MORE CONTAGIOUS AT THE START OF THE PANDEMIC THAN EXPERTS THINK, THE STUDY CONCLUDES

Company officials said the majority of adverse events were mild to moderate, such as headaches, fatigue and chills, among others.

After the second vaccination, a patient in cohort 56-70 with the 25 microgram dose developed fever, and a second patient in the older, higher dose cohort had fatigue, but officials said that ” clinical laboratory grade 2 or higher values ​​were found to be no cause for concern ”and that patients would be followed for 13 months for a longer evaluation.

The results were reportedly confirmed by three live virus tests, and “a strong neutralizing activity was observed in all participants 14 days after the second vaccination”.

The US government has already reached an agreement with Moderna for 100 million doses of the vaccine, with an option to purchase an additional 400 million doses.

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