Moderna Inc said on Monday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed promise in a small early-stage trial, with the vaccine producing virus-neutralizing antibodies similar to that found in recovered patients, sending shares soaring 25%.
The company’s vaccine is at the forefront of the efforts in developing a treatment for the fast-spreading virus and last week, won the U.S. health agency’s “fast track” label to speed up the regulatory review. Moderna expects to start a larger late-stage trial in July.
There are currently no approved treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus, and experts predict a safe and effective vaccine could take 12-18 months to develop.
Eight patients who were administered Moderna’s vaccine were found to have antibody levels similar to those in blood samples of people who have recovered from COVID-19, according to early results from the study conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
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All 45 participants in the study were given three different doses of the vaccine and Moderna said it saw dose-dependent increase in immunogenicity,