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Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine shows similar immune response in old and young

Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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Aug 26 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc MRNA.O said on Wednesday that an analysis of the early-stage data of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine showed it induced immune responses in older adults that were similar to younger participants.

The drug developer is one of the leading U.S. contenders in the race to develop a safe and effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus and its candidate, mRNA-1273, is already in the Phase 3 stage of human testing.

Moderna is now reporting interim data from the Phase 1 study, which includes new analysis from 20 additional people and details on how the vaccine performs in older people.

The analysis looked at 100 microgram dosage that has been selected for the larger Phase 3 trial. Moderna said the immune responses in those aged between 56 and 70 years, above 70 and those in the age-group of 18 and 55 were similar.

The data is being presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting on Wednesday.

The company has so far enrolled over 13,000 participants in the late-stage study and about 18% of the total participants are Black, Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, groups that are the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Moderna, which has no drugs in the market, has received nearly $1 billion from the U.S. government under a plan to speed up vaccine development for COVID-19. It has also struck a $1.5 billion supply agreement with the United States.

Shares of the drug developer rose more than 7% to $71.35 after the data. They have more than tripled in value so far this year and results from its studies have boosted the broader market.

UPDATE 2-U.S. inks $1.5 billion deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

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(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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