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COVID-19 vaccine test underway

TDT

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A biotech company in Massachusetts has created a vaccine against the deadly novel coronavirus and has sent samples to the United States government for testing.

Cambridge-based company Moderna, Inc., released the first batch of mRNA-1273 — the company’s vaccine against the novel coronavirus — for human use.

Vials of mRNA-1273 have been shipped to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the National Institutes of Health to be used in the planned Phase 1 study in the United States.

The vaccine was created just 42 days after the genetic sequence of the COVID-19 virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was released by Chinese researchers in mid-January.

mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was selected by Moderna in collaboration with investigators at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC).

The manufacture of the batch was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

“I want to thank the entire Moderna team for their extraordinary effort in responding to this global health emergency with record speed. The collaboration across Moderna, with NIAID, and with CEPI has allowed us to deliver a clinical batch in 42 days from sequence identification,” said Juan Andres, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer at Moderna.

“This would not have been possible without our Norwood manufacturing site, which uses leading-edge technology to enable flexible operations and ensure high quality standards are met for clinical-grade material.”

Moderna is one of the companies that have teamed up with the U.S. government to develop vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 including Johnson & Johnson, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi.

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