Canada to review Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in real time

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

(Reuters) - Moderna Inc said on Tuesday Canada’s health ministry will review its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in real time, becoming the third vaccine maker to be accepted by the country for the process that may speed up approval.

Health Canada is already conducting real-time reviews of COVID-19 vaccine candidates from BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc, as well as AstraZeneca.

Moderna said it has begun the rolling submission in Canada following positive early results from studies of its vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.

Last week, the drugmaker said it will soon apply for a real-time review of mRNA-1273 in Europe, days after the European Union health regulator launched rolling reviews of shots from AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Real-time reviews could speed up the process of approving a successful vaccine by allowing researchers to submit findings in real time, without having to wait for studies to conclude.

Moderna, one of the furthest along in the U.S. race for a COVID-19 vaccine, said last week the ongoing U.S. trial of mRNA-1273 was on track for a data readout by November.

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli