The vaccine developed by the us biotech company Moderna in partnership with the national institutes of health (NIH) has triggered an immune response “robust” and prevented virus replication in the lungs and noses of monkeys, according to results published Tuesday.
This is one of the two vaccines western, with one of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, have started large-scale testing on thousands of human participants, so-called phase 3. The government of Donald Trump has invested nearly a billion dollars to support its development.
Seven of the eight immunized monkeys in this study, and then exposed deliberately to the coronavirus four weeks later, had more of virus replication detectable in the lungs two days later, and none of the eight had virus in the nose, according to results published by the medical journal New England Journal of Medicine.
The scientists had previously found that the vaccination in two doses separated by 28 days, caused the production of not only antibodies against the coronavirus, but also T-lymphocytes vital to the immune response.
“This is the first time that an experimental vaccine against the COVID-19 tested on non-human primates has demonstrated its capacity to produce a control viral fast in the upper respiratory tract”, welcomed the NIH in a press release.
The scientific note by comparison that the vaccine in Oxford (based on an adenovirus, while the Moderna uses the technology of the messenger RNA) had not shown effect on the quantities of virus in the noses of monkeys.
Reduce the amount of virus in the lungs would make the disease less virulent in the patient, while the reduction in the nose should cause a person to spread less virus around it.
But only the tests of phase 3, in progress, will allow to verify if one or the other vaccine protects humans. We will compare the rate of infections among volunteers who received placebo to those who were really vaccinated. Results are available in September for the vaccine Oxford/AstraZeneca, according to the head of the laboratory, and may be in October or November for the u.s., according to the boss of Moderna.