Moderna on Monday announced that it began administering its next generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate in a Phase 1 study. The new candidate, mRNA-1283, can be stored in a refrigerator which could potentially ease storage and shipping hurdles.
“We are pleased to begin this Phase 1 study of our next generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1283,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna CEO, said in a press release Monday. “Our investments in our mRNA platform have enabled us to develop this next generation vaccine candidate which is a potential refrigerator-stable vaccine that could facilitate easier distribution and administration in a wider range of settings, including potentially for developing countries. We remain committed to helping address this ongoing public health emergency.”
The currently approved Moderna two-dose vaccine can be stored refrigerated between 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius for up to 30 days prior to use, but cannot be refrozen once thawed. Unpunctured vials may be stored between 8 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius for up to 12 hours but also cannot be refrozen.
The new clinical trial is evaluating three dose levels of the mRNA-1283, which targets the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, given to healthy adults in a two-dose series spaced 28 days apart and at one dose level in a single shot. The results will be compared with the currently authorized dose level in the two-dose series.
“mRNA-1283 is intended to be evaluated in futures studies for use as a booster dose for previously vaccinated or seropositive as well as in a primary series for seronegative individuals,” the press release stated.