A Coronavirus vaccine trial in America has left scientists and medical experts feeling cautiously optimistic after delivering promising signs in the early stages of human trials.
Biotech company Moderna have conducted a small trial with just eight people, but the results have shown that not only is the vaccine safe, but it also created ‘neutralising antibodies’ in the recipient’s body, mimicking the antibodies that have been found in patients who have recovered from the virus.
The antibodies were present in all eight patients, not only showing an immune response but also preventing COVID-19 replicating and harming the host.
Dr Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told CNN: “This is absolutely good news and news that we think many have been waiting for for quite some time.
“We’ve demonstrated that these antibodies, this immune response, can actually block the virus. I think this is a very important first step in our journey towards having a vaccine.”
Moderna’s research has been conducted alongside US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
NIH vaccine specialist Dr. Paul Offit said of the early results, “It shows that not only did the antibody bind to the virus, but it prevented the virus from infecting the cells.”
While the early results seem positive, the findings have not yet been peer reviewed or published in a medical journal.
The vaccine is now set to enter Phase Two, which will see a much larger group of up to 600 people tested.
Should the second phase prove to be successful, Phase Three will then allow thousands of people to be tested.
However, even with the promising early progress, Moderna doesn’t expect to be able to have a successful vaccine available until early next year.
The World Health Organisation have confirmed that Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of eight developers worldwide doing human clinical trials with a vaccine.
Here’s hoping for a successful Phase Two.