The US is looking to launch a testing effort that will involve more than 100,000 volunteers and about a half dozen of the most promising vaccine candidates in an effort to deliver a safe and effective one by the end of the year, as reported in NASDAQ.
According to scientists heading the program, leading vaccine makers have agreed to share data and lend the use of their clinical trial networks to competitors should their own candidate fail.
Vaccine candidates that demonstrate safety in small early studies will be tested in huge trials, slated to start in July, that will recruit 20,000 to 30,000 subjects for each vaccine.
Between 100,000 and 150,000 people may be enrolled in the studies, said Larry Corey, a vaccine expert at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center who is helping design the trials.
Moderna's candidate is already proceeding to mid-stage clinical trials, while vaccines by Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Merck & Co. are a month or two behind the frontrunners and "may get added over the course of the summer" following early-stage human trials, said Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health.
Collins would not name other candidates on the US shortlist of 14, but said they will need to finish early safety testing by this summer to make it into the bigger trials.
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