United States’ biotechnological company, Moderna, says its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
The positive readout comes just a week after a similar shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE was found to be more than 90% effective in an interim analysis.
In a statement on Monday, Moderna said a preliminary analysis of data from more than 30,000 volunteers showed its vaccine prevented virtually all symptomatic cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
According to a review by an independent data safety monitoring board appointed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, only five participants who received two doses of the vaccine became sick, compared with 90 coronavirus cases in participants who received a placebo.
While the results are preliminary, both Moderna and Pfizer are expected to seek emergency-use authorisation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if further study shows their vaccines are safe.
In its statement, Moderna said it could seek a go-ahead from regulators in the coming weeks.
The company said it would expect an emergency authorisation to be based on a final analysis containing 151 cases, along with two months of safety follow-up data that U.S. regulators want to see. That final data is expected later in November.
These developments are very positive news for the fight against the disease that has infected over 54 million people and killed over 1.3 million worldwide.