Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will be in final stages of human trial starting July 27

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  • Moderna said on Tuesday (July 14) that it would enter the final stage of human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine on July 27 and will run at least until October.
  • In the Phase 3 trial, Moderna will have 30,000 participants in the US, where 50% of those will be given the vaccine at 100mg dose, and the other half will receive a placebo.
  • The trials were earlier scheduled to begin on July 9 but got delayed due to changes in the study plan.
The US-based biotech firm Moderna said on Tuesday (July 14) that it would enter the final stage of human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine on July 27, after the vaccine showed promising results.

According to reports, the Phase 3 trial Moderna will have 30,000 participants in the US, where 50% of those will be given the vaccine at 100mg dose, and the other half will receive a placebo.

The coronavirus has infected more than 13 million people and killed over 581 thousand all over the world.

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The trials were earlier scheduled to begin on July 9 but got delayed due to changes in the study plan, according to investigators at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

According to the US clinicaltrials.gov, the study should run until October 27 before deciding if the vaccine can still be considered a success.

This came after the first stage of Moderna’s vaccine trial showed that all the first 45 participants developed antibodies to fight the virus. The Moderna vaccine uses genetic material in the form of Ribonucleic acid (RNA) to help the body produce antibodies that protect against Covid-19. No vaccines based on this platform have previously received regulatory approval. This technology bypasses the need to manufacture viral proteins in the lab and helps to ramp up mass production.

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Moderna is working with Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and the NIH, including NIAID’s COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (COVPN), to conduct the Phase 3 of the study. It said it aims to deliver about 500 million doses per year, and possibly up to 1 billion doses per year, starting in 2021.

Top players running for COVID vaccine

There are at least 21 vaccines currently under key trials, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Among which the Gilead Sciences, Oxford University’s researchers and American biotech company China’s SinoVac are top players in the race of Covid-19 vaccine.

China’s SinoVac is in Phase 2, while the Russian researchers have completed clinical trials on a vaccine and said it would be discharged soon.
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The US-based Gilead Sciences antiviral Remdesivir earlier showed that it reduces the risk of death in severely ill COVID-19 patients, but warned that rigorous clinical trials would be needed to confirm the benefit. The University of Oxford also announced last week that the advance human trial of the vaccine would involve up to 10,260 volunteers across the UK. But, according to analyst reports due to a decline in infection rate, the team at Oxford University developing a Covid-19 vaccine believe that the chances of the trial yielding “no result” is now 50%.

And other Covid-19 vaccine’s by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc’s are expected to be ready by the end of 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the German biotech firm’s chief executive officer.

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