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Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Clinical Trial To Start Monday

The clinical trial of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) will start Monday, a government official confirmed to the Associated Press.

Benzinga · 03/16/2020 09:03

The clinical trial of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) will start Monday, a government official confirmed to the Associated Press.

What Happened

Forty-five young, healthy volunteers are participating in the trial at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, the Associated Press reported.

The first volunteer to participate in the trial funded by the National Institute of Health would be injected with the vaccine on Monday, the official said.

The vaccine doesn't contain the virus itself, so there's no risk of the volunteers getting infected with COVID-19 themselves, the Associated Press noted. The NIH and Moderna clinicians will note if there are any adverse side-effects of the vaccine.

Why It Matters

Moderna had sent the vaccine to the NIH in February for clinical trials. As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, the first trial wasn't expected to begin until late April, and would involve about 20 to 25 healthy volunteers.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) also announced that it had developed a vaccine for the coronavirus, and testing is expected to begin in April.

Health officials have said that even if a vaccine is developed, it will take anywhere between 12 to 18 months for it to be available at the mass-scale required to stop the spread of the virus.

Almost 170,000 across the globe have been infected with COVID-19 by press time, and more than 6,500 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Price Action

Moderna's shares closed 4.48% lower at $21.30 on Friday.