But stay cautious, says Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine specialist at Baylor.
Here, Moderna has isolated a segment of genetic material called mRNA-1273 from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that codes for the Spike protein. The trial found that the vaccine was overall tolerable and safe, and numerous participants also appeared to create antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes covid-19.
Moderna said Monday it had obtained initial positive results from its trial of a vaccine for the coronavirus.
People who received two doses at the 25 microgram level developed binding antibodies at levels consistent with those seen in the blood of people who have recovered from Covid-19 infection, the statement said.
On day 43 of the trial, roughly two weeks after the second dose was administered, scientists noted patients developed antibodies consistent in patients who've recovered from the new coronavirus and producing neutralizing antibodies in at least eight patients, CNBC reported.
The big picture: This is an early snapshot of a small sample size within a trial that is focused on the vaccine's safety. 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.
The company acknowledged that a single participant at 100 µg experienced grade 3 erythema (redness) around the injection site, while at the 250 µg dose level, three participants showed grade 3 systemic symptoms, but only following the second dose.
Many of these companies who conducting human trials have created, or are in the process of creating RNA vaccines, which can be synthesized and create vaccines more quickly.
U.S. firm announces 'positive interim' results for coronavirus vaccine
The vaccine, mRNA-1273, was also found to be generally safe and well tolerated in the early-stage study, the drug developer said. Based on the interim results, the phase-two study will be amended to focus on two dose levels: 50 micrograms and 100 micrograms.
Importantly, the vaccine appears to be "generally safe and well-tolerated" with no life-threatening side effects, the company said.
A critical unknown is how many antibodies people need to be protected from the virus, but Moderna executives said these early results suggested they were on the right track.
Those people, healthy volunteers, made antibodies that were then tested in human cells in the lab and were able to stop the virus from replicating - the key requirement for an effective vaccine.
An unspecified portion of funding for establishing manufacturing operations at Lonza U.S.is covered by Moderna's contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), announced April 16. The results of individuals' immune response are only available for the low- and medium-level doses.
The report also tested the vaccine on mice and found that it prevented viral replication in the animals' lungs. "That said, all adverse events have been transient and self-resolving". The company has seen its share of turmoil, however: Its former CEO, Daniel Menichella, mysteriously left earlier this year after meeting with President Donald Trump, who reportedly pressured CureVac to move its COVID-19 R&D to the U.S.
AstraZeneca (AZN), and several other vaccine makers are all racing to develop a critically needed vaccine for the coronavirus.
"It will not be until the Phase 3 trial is completed that it will be known whether the vaccine actually prevents Covid-19 disease", he added.