Moderna Provides Updates on the Clinical Development and Production of Its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, today provided an update on the clinical development and production of mRNA-1273, its vaccine candidate against COVID-19.
Interim Durability Data from NIH-led Phase 1 Study of mRNA-1273
Today, a letter to the editor was published in the New England Journal of Medicine reporting that participants in the Phase 1 study of mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, retained high levels of neutralizing antibodies through 119 days following first vaccination (90 days following second vaccination). The study was led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Author Alicia T. Widge M.D. of Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH and others summarized that “mRNA-1273 produced high levels of binding and neutralizing antibodies that declined slightly over time, as expected, but they remained elevated in all participants three months after the booster vaccination.” These results were consistent across all age cohorts (18-55, 56-70 and 71+). The authors continued, “Although correlates of protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans are not yet established, these results show that despite a slight expected decline in titers of binding and neutralizing antibodies, mRNA-1273 has the potential to provide durable humoral immunity.” They also reported that, “No serious adverse events were noted in the trial, no prespecified trial-halting rules were met, and no new adverse events that were considered by the investigators to be related to the vaccine occurred after day 57.” The full letter and associated data are available here.
“These interim Phase 1 data suggests that mRNA-1273, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate can generate durable neutralizing antibodies across all age groups including in older and elderly adults. Live virus and pseudovirus assay geometric mean titers (GMTs) remain high in the first months following vaccination,” said Tal Zaks, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Moderna. “These data give us further optimism to expect that the high level of efficacy recently demonstrated by mRNA-1273 to prevent COVID-19 disease will be durable.”
Today, Moderna re-affirmed its expectation of having approximately 20 million doses available in the U.S. by the end of 2020. Additionally, the Company expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses available globally in the first quarter of 2021, with 85-100 million of those available in the U.S. and 15-25 million of those available outside of the U.S. These expected first quarter doses are inclusive within the 500 million to up to 1 billion doses that the Company expects to manufacture globally in 2021.
Today’s announcement follows the Company’s November 30 announcement that the primary efficacy analysis of the Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 conducted on 196 cases confirmed the high efficacy observed at the first interim analysis. The data analysis indicates a vaccine efficacy of 94.1%. Safety data continue to accrue and the study continues to be monitored by an independent, NIH-appointed Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). Based on prior analysis, the most common solicited adverse reactions included injection site pain, fatigue, myalgia, arthralgia, headache, and erythema/redness at the injection site. Solicited adverse reactions increased in frequency and severity in the mRNA-1273 group after the second dose. Also on November 30, Moderna submitted a request for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and conditional approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Phase 3 study, known as the COVE study, enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the U.S. and is being conducted in collaboration with NIAID and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein, which was co-developed by Moderna and investigators from NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center. The first clinical batch, which was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, was completed on February 7, 2020 and underwent analytical testing; it was shipped to the NIH on February 24, 42 days from sequence selection. The first participant in the NIAID-led Phase 1 study of mRNA-1273 was dosed on March 16, 63 days from sequence selection to Phase 1 study dosing. On May 12, the FDA granted mRNA-1273 Fast Track designation. On May 29, the first participants in each age cohort: adults ages 18-55 years (n=300) and older adults ages 55 years and above (n=300) were dosed in the Phase 2 study of mRNA-1273. On July 8, the Phase 2 study completed enrollment.
Results from the second interim analysis of mRNA-1273 in the 56-70 and 71+ age groups were published on September 29 in The New England Journal of Medicine. On July 28, results from a non-human primate preclinical viral challenge study evaluating mRNA-1273 were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. On July 14, an interim analysis of the original cohorts in the NIH-led Phase 1 study of mRNA-1273 was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. A summary of the company’s work to date on COVID-19 can be found here.
BARDA is supporting the continued research and development of mRNA-1273 with $955 million in federal funding under Contract no. 75A50120C00034. BARDA is reimbursing Moderna for 100 percent of the allowable costs incurred by the company for conducting the program described in the BARDA contract. The U.S. government has committed up to $1.525 billion to purchase supply of mRNA-1273 under U.S. Department of Defense Contract No. W911QY-20-C-0100.