(Daily News Scan - DNS English) Moderna Vaccine : A New Ray of hope Against COVID-19

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) Moderna Vaccine : A New Ray of hope Against COVID-19

Researchers across the world are in search of a vaccine against corona virus. Many of them have put vaccines for the trial as well. One such vaccine was put to trial by US based pharmaceutical firm Moderna. They have successfully completed the first phase of trial of this vaccine, which is based on mRNA technology. With the first phase of trial being successful a lot of hopes have been created with this vaccine.

In this edition of the DNS we will learn about mRNA TECHNOLOGY and the successful trial of the vaccine.

US-based biotechnology company Moderna was the first to launch a human clinical trial for the potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 virus in March this year. The trials involved 45 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 55 years over approximately six weeks. The participants of this trial were divided into three groups of 15 each. All of them were found to have developed antibodies on day 15 after a single dose of mRNA-1273.

mRNA-1273 is the working name of Moderna’s vaccine. It is currently under the first phase of the clinical trial under the aegis of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). The mRNA means the messenger RNA. This carries the carries the genetic formula for the coding of a specific protein. The mRNA is a molecule that genetically encodes a set of instructions, based on which cells make proteins and send them to various parts of the body. Vaccines based on mRNA technology take advantage of normal biological processes of the body to create the desired therapeutic effect.

Moderna has announced that the mRNA, on entering the body, had managed to show a degree of immune response in the first eight patients. The participants received two doses of the vaccine; different doses were used to test the potency of the vaccine. Two weeks after the second dose, even those on the lowest dose showed enough antibodies to raise hopes of being able to thwart an infection. It was the same level of protection that people who have recovered from the infection show. The group that got a higher dose had higher levels.

Moderna has started phase two of the trial and this will be the first mRNA-based vaccine to enter phase three, if it does so, by July. The initial results have created hope but the actual vaccine is still far away from our reach. Not only this, there can be some manufacturing capacity issues to deal with before the entire world realistically hope to benefit from it. Then there is also the issue of effectiveness, or how the vaccine performs in real-life conditions against the efficacy. For now the scientists are trying to understand what amount of antibodies will prove to be protective against the corona virus and for how long will the protection will last.

Moderna, is working on its manufacturing capacity. “Moderna has already started to prepare for rapid acceleration of its manufacturing capabilities that could allow for the future manufacture of millions of doses should mRNA-1273 prove to be safe and of expected benefit. We are working around-the-clock to make sure a vaccine is available as quickly and as broadly as possible. We will continue to work together, with government, industry and other third parties to enable the best chance for success,” Moderna says on its website.

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