Antibody Levels Predictive of Moderna's Vaccine Efficacy: St
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Antibody levels are a good predictor for how effective Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine is, according to a new study, a finding which could help speed up future clinical trials for vaccines against the disease. Regulators currently rely on large placebo-controlled studies to determine if a vaccine works, but the study, conducted by scientists showed that measuring the antibody levels in vaccine recipients could also determine effectiveness.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that the Moderna vaccine was more effective in vaccine recipients with high levels of antibodies. These recipients also reported a lower rate of breakthrough infections after being vaccinated. The study was conducted using data from Moderna's 30,000-participant clinical trial, which started last year and was the basis for the vaccine's authorization.

Finding a surrogate measure of efficacy should speed regulators' decisions on vaccine approval even without large placebo-controlled studies, which could be impracticable to carry out if vaccines become widely available, said Peter Gilbert, a researcher at Fred Hutchinson and an author of the study.

Combined with data about the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines, Gilbert said there has been a "consistent accumulation of evidence" showing that antibodies can be used as an alternate marker for vaccine efficacy.