|Canadian drug developer Medicago said Tuesday it has received promising early test results for its plant-derived vaccine for COVID-19. The Quebec City-based company said interim results of a Phase 1 clinical trial found all subjects developed „a promising antibody response after two doses” of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The federal government has signed a deal with Medicago to secure the rights to buy 76 million doses of its vaccine.
Phase 1 clinical trials include about 100 volunteers and are designed to flag any immediate safety concerns and offer an initial indication of whether the shots produce an immune response. Medicago did not disclose full safety data and said the side-effects were generally mild to moderate and short in duration. The company posted the results on a preprint server and they still need to be peer reviewed by independent experts to check their validity. The Phase 1 clinical trial was a randomized, partially blinded study of 180 healthy people aged 18 to 55.
Based on the Phase 1 data, Medicago plans to proceed with a Phase 2/3 clinical trial for its plant-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, subject to regulatory approval. The company said it planned to use a lower-dose version of its vaccine, along with GlaxoSmithKline’s adjuvant — a compound that enhances the body’s immune response. Medicago is Canada’s most advanced domestic COVID-19 vaccine project but lags behind larger, global rivals such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which have begun late-stage trials.