CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (BusinessWire, CNN, NYT, Businessinsider.com) – Moderna Therapeutics, the Cambridge-based biotechnology company cofounded and chaired by Dr. Noubar Afeyan, announced positive interim data about the Phase I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate for COVID-19. The trial showed the vaccine appeared safe and produced an immune response. In the trial on 45 patients, 8 showed neutralizing antibodies which bind to the virus and prevent it from attacking human cells.
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told investors on May 18 that the vaccine, mRNA-1273, has a “high probability to provide protection from COVID-19 disease in humans.” Moderna chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks told CNN that if future studies go well, the company’s vaccine could be available to the public as early as January. However, it is still not completely clear whether the vaccination, or even natural infection, can provide immunity.
Meanwhile, Moncef Slaoui, a former Moderna board member appointed to lead White House efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, is divesting himself of $10 million in Moderna stock options to avoid conflict of interest.