Coronavirus vaccine tests show promise in early human testing

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Moderna photo )

(ABC News) – The biotech company researching a coronavirus vaccine released early results of its phase 1 testing Monday, saying it found promising results so far.

Moderna, which conducted the first human trials, said its vaccine, mRNA-1273, was “generally safe and well-tolerated” in its clinical trials of patients, ages 18-55. The study, which is led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), tested three doses: 25 mcg, 100 mcg and 250 mcg.

Moderna said three patients who were given that the highest dose — 250 mg — showed short-lived flu-like symptoms, which they say is common in vaccines.

The report also tested the vaccine on mice and found that it prevented viral replication in the animals’ lungs.

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“We believe these two data sets represent an important step forward,” Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said in a conference call with reporters.

The company said it would start phase 2 trials soon and research two dose levels, 50 mcg and 100 mcg. It is slated to start phase 3 in July where Moderna will recruit adults who are most at risk for infection.

More than 100 vaccines are being studied for COVID-19 infection, and at least eight of these, including Moderna’s, have already progressed to human studies.