US biotech firm Moderna reported promising early results on Monday from the first clinical tests of an experimental vaccine against the novel coronavirus performed on a small number of volunteers.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said the vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, appeared to produce an immune response in eight people who received it similar to that seen in people convalescing from the virus.
Moderna, which was founded nine years ago, said the vaccine “was generally safe and well tolerated” and that patients suffered no more than redness or soreness from the shots.
Separate tests performed on mice showed that the vaccine prevented the virus from replicating in their lungs, according to the company.
The US government has invested nearly half a billion dollars in the development of Moderna’s vaccine candidate.