Moderna says its experimental vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19
In a vaccine trial that Moderna believes would give the world more hope to end the coronavirus pandemic, the biotech company announced this morning that its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial.
Moderna becomes the second U.S. drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations. Last week, we wrote about Pfizer after the pharmaceutical giant announced last week that its COVID-19 vaccine offers 90% protection. According to Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, the vaccine was tested on 43,500 people in six countries with no safety concerns.
Moderna is expected to have enough safety data required for U.S. authorization in the next week or so and the company expects to file for emergency use authorization (EUA) in the coming weeks. Moderna is a U.S.-based clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients.
Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines are developed with a new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA). The news also comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are soaring, hitting new records in the United States and pushing some European countries back into lockdowns.
“We are going to have a vaccine that can stop COVID-19,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in a telephone interview.
Moderna’s interim analysis was based on 95 infections among trial participants who received either a placebo or the vaccine. Of those, only five infections occurred in those who received the vaccine, which is administered in two shots 28 days apart.
Pfizer expects to seek broad U.S. authorization for emergency use of the vaccine for people aged 16 to 85. To do so, it will need two months of safety data from about half the study’s 44,000 participants, which his expected late this month.
“Having more than one source of an effective vaccine will increase the global supply and, with luck, help us all to get back to something like normal sometime in 2021,” said Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh.
To date, coronavirus has infected 54 million people worldwide and killed 1.3 million.