Stocks rally, companies join global race for an effective vaccine

Human trials of a vaccine for the prevention of Covid-19 are underway at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced.

The companies’ saw their stock prices rally with the news.

The phase I/II trial of the BNT162 vaccine program will test for the “safety, immunogenicity, and optimal dose level of four mRNA candidates evaluated in a single, continuous study,” the two companies announced. Up to 360 healthy adults will be enrolled in two cohorts — Age 18-55 and age 65-85.

“The first subjects immunized in stage I of the study will be healthy adults 18-55 years of age. Older adults will only be immunized with a given dose level of a vaccine candidate once testing of that candidate and dose level in younger adults has provided initial evidence of safety and immunogenicity,” the companies explained. Two other testing sites, the University of Rochester Medical center/Rochester Regional Health, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, will also soon begin enrollment.

But Pfizer and BioNTech are not the only drug companies in the Covid-19 vaccine race.

In April, the University of Oxford announced that it is trialing a vaccine that they report has about an “80% chance” of being a success, according to Professor Sarah Gilbert ,who leads the team at Oxford, CBS News reports. That trial will test the vaccine in 510 volunteers age 18-55.

Moderna, Inc. announced in March that it has developed an mRNA vaccine, which is being tested in 45 healthy adults age 18-55. The vaccine will be given in two-doses 28 days apart and the participants of this phase I trial will be followed for 12 months after the second dose, according to the company.

There are 120 vaccine projects ongoing globally, but so far, CBS noted, only five are approved for testing in humans.

Candace Hoffmann, Managing Editor, BreakingMED™

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