A Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding the trial. KPWHRI is part of NIAID’s Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium. The open-label trial will enroll 45 healthy adult volunteers ages 18 to 55 years over approximately 6 weeks. The first participant received the investigational vaccine today.

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 for evaluating 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., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) supported the manufacturing of the vaccine candidate for the Phase 1 clinical trial.#

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And in Israel

Scientists at Israel’s Institute for Biological Research are expected to announce in the coming days that they have completed development of a vaccine for the new coronavirus COVID-19.

According to medical sources, the scientists have recently had a significant breakthrough in understanding the biological mechanism and qualities of the virus, including better diagnostic capability, production of antibodies for those who already have the virus and development of a vaccine.

The development process requires a series of tests and experiments that may last many months before the vaccination is deemed effective or safe to use. 

Asked about the development, the Defense Ministry said: “There has been no breakthrough in the efforts of the biological institute to find a vaccine for the coronavirus or to develop testing kits. The institute’s work is conducted according to an orderly work plan and it will take time.

If and when there will be something to report, it will be done in an orderly fashion. The biological institute is a world-renowned research and development agency, which relies on experienced researchers and scientists with great knowledge and quality infrastructures. There are now more than 50 experienced scientists working at the institute on researching and developing a medical remedy for the virus.”

The Institute for Biological Research, located in the central Israeli town of Nes Tziona, was established in 1952 as part of the Israel Defense Forces’ Science Corps, and later became a civilian organization. It is technically under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office, but is in close communication with the Defense Ministry.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu ordered the institute to devote resources to developing a vaccine for COVID-19 on February 1.

Normally, a long process of pre-clinical trials on animals would be the next phase, followed by clinical trials. This period allows for a full characterization of side effects and a better understanding of how different populations are affected.Ido Efrati

Ido Efrati

Haaretz Correspondent