Moderna hopes to begin manufacturing its as-yet unapproved coronavirus vaccine “as early as July,” CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Friday.
Moderna is pushing forward with manufacturing the potential vaccine, called mRNA-1273, in hopes that it proves safe for humans and effective against the coronavirus. However, the vaccine candidate remains in a phase 1 trial, CNBC reported.
The potential vaccine, which was developed by researchers at Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, became the first candidate to enter a phase 1 human trial in March and full results have not been released. Bancel added that data from the phase 1 trial “looks positive” with regard to safety.
Moderna, as well as other companies in the race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus, is ramping up manufacturing ahead of approval so that it can rapidly distribute doses if their candidate proves effective against the virus. Bancel said his team on their own could manufacture about 100 million doses per year, but with the Lonza partnership, they hope to produce about 1 billion doses per year.
According to CNBC, the vaccine uses synthetic messenger RNA to inoculate against the virus. Such treatments help the body immunize against a virus and can potentially be developed and manufactured more quickly than traditional vaccines.