Nubar Afeyan’s company ships first batches of its Covid-19 vaccine for human testing

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YEREVAN, February 29. /ARKA/. Moderna Therapeutics, a biotech company based in Cambridge, Mass., co-founded by an American-Armenian industrial engineer and co-founder of the Aurora Prize Nubar Afeyan, has shipped the first batches of its COVID-19 vaccine, Time reported.

The vaccine was created just 42 days after the genetic sequence of the COVID_19 virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was released by Chinese researchers in mid-January. The first vials were sent to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, which will ready the vaccine for human testing as early as April.

Modema’s vaccine against COVID-19 was developed in record time because it’s based on a relatively new genetic method that does not require growing huge amounts of virus. Instead, the vaccine is packed with mRNA, the genetic material that comes from DNA and makes proteins.

Moderna loads its vaccine with mRNA that codes for the right coronavirus proteins which then get injected into the body. Immune cells in the lymph nodes can process that mRNA and start making the protein in just the right way for other immune cells to recognize and mark them for destruction.

Meanwhile, mainland China – where the virus originated late last year – reported 327 new cases, the lowest since 23 January, taking its tally to more than 78,800 cases with almost 2,800 deaths.

On February 28 morning, the largest number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus outside mainland China was  in South Korea- 1, 66. Some  891 people were detected in Japan, of which 705 were passengers and crew members of the Diamond Princess quarantined in Yokohama.

In Italy, there were 650 people with coronavirus, in Iran – 245, in Singapore – 96, in Hong Kong – 93, in USA – 60, in Kuwait – 43, in Thailand – 40, in France – 38, in Bahrain – 33, in Taiwan – 32, in Australia – 23 , in Malaysia – 22, in Germany – 21, in Vietnam – 16, in Great Britain – 16, in UAE – 13, in Canada and Spain – 12, in Macau – 10.

Less than 10 cases have been reported in Iraq, Switzerland, the Philippines, Croatia, Greece, India, Israel, Austria, Finland, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Sweden, Afghanistan, Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Lebanon, Nepal, Northern Macedonia, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, and Sri Lanka.

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