May 30, 2020 - The drug company Moderna has entered phase two in its search for a coronavirus vaccine by giving the vaccine to the first of 600 participants, the company said Friday in a news release.
Participants will receive two vaccinations 28 days apart of a placebo, a 50-microgram dose or a-100 microgram dose, the news release said. The Massachusetts-based company will enroll about 300 people 18-55 years old and 300 people aged 55 and above for phase two.
If all goes well, the company said it expects to start phase three in July, with dosages between 25 and 100 micrograms.
Moderna and other companies are racing to develop a vaccine to battle COVID-19, which has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States alone.
The results of phase one in the Moderna study, which involved a much smaller number of people, were encouraging.
The company said three different dosage levels – 25, 100 and 250 micrograms -- were given to 45 participants and all of them developed detectable antibodies. The eight people who received doses of 25 and 100 micrograms responded best, developing antibodies that were just as high or higher than the antibodies found in people who had gotten coronavirus and then recovered, the company said.
The testing is being done in coordination with the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It has not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.