A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 18, 2020.
Brian Snyder | Reuters
Moderna will begin its late-stage trial by testing a possible vaccine to prevent Covid-19 on July 27, according to a publication published Tuesday on ClinicalTrials.gov.
The test will enroll 30,000 participants at 87 locations, according to the website. Participants in the experimental arm will receive a 100 microgram dose of the potential vaccine on the first day and another 29 days thereafter. Some patients will also receive a placebo.
Moderna’s experimental vaccine contains genetic material called messenger RNA or mRNA. MRNA is a genetic code that tells cells what to build, in this case, an antigen that can induce an immune response to the virus. She became the first candidate to participate in a phase one human trial in March.
In May, the company released data from its early-stage trial, which showed that the vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies to Covid-19 in at least eight participants. The vaccine also produced binding antibodies in all participants.
Moderna’s effort is one of several working on a possible vaccine for Covid-19, which has infected more than 13 million people and killed at least 573,200 worldwide as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by the University. Johns Hopkins. According to the World Health Organization, more than 100 vaccines are being developed worldwide.
Earlier this month, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer released positive results from its early-human study of a coronavirus vaccine.
The United States is targeting to deliver 300 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in early 2021.
Scientists are still learning about key aspects of the virus, including the response of the immune system once a person is exposed. They say the answers may have important implications for vaccine development, including how quickly it can be deployed to the public.
Moderna’s shares fell earlier this month after a report said its trial would be delayed. The shares rose 4.6% in trading on Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, has often promoted the possible Moderna vaccine.
On Monday, he said he is “cautiously optimistic,” scientists will be able to create at least one safe and effective vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021.