A Phase 1 clinical trial being is going to begin to evaluate an investigational vaccine designed to protect against COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) https://www.kpwashingtonresearch.org in Seattle. Lisa A. Jackson, MD, Senior Investigator at KPWHR is leading the clinical trial.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) https://www.niaid.nih.gov as part of NIH, is funding the trial. The open label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers’ ages 18-25 over for approximately 6 weeks. The first participant in the clinical trial received the investigational vaccine on March 16, 2020.
The study is evaluating different doses of the experimental vaccine for safety and its ability to induce an immune response in participants. This is the first of multiple steps in the clinical trial process needed to evaluate the potential benefit of the vaccine.
The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc. http://modenacorporaton.com, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The “Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations” (CEPI) https://cepi.net supported the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate for the Phase 1 clinical trial.
Scientists at NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and Moderna were able to quickly develop mRNA-1273 because of prior studies of related coronaviruses that caused SARS and MERS.