Moderna’s chairman, Noubar Afeyan

The first human trial of a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus could advance to the next step this spring, Moderna Chairman Noubar Afeyan said Thursday.

“It’s difficult to put a specific date on things just because it’s a very dynamic situation,” Afeyan told CNBC. “We’ve entered phase 1 trials. … We’ll enter hopefully phase 2 trials, we expect that to happen in the spring, perhaps early summer.”

“And success there will hopefully lead us to phase 3 trials,” Afeyan added on “The Exchange.”

Moderna partnered with the National Institutes of Health to accelerate the development of the vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Phase 1 human trials of the potential vaccine began in the Seattle area in mid-March.

Afeyan, who is also CEO of venture capital firm Flagship Pioneering, helped co-found Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna in 2010.

Afeyan said he expects other companies working on a vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson, could also be successful in developing an effective one.

“We hope that everybody succeeds because the worldwide demand for these types of interventions is far in excess of what any one player can deliver,” he said.

Johnson & Johnson said Monday that it hoped to begin human trials of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine by September.

Other companies are attempting to develop a drug to treat COVID-19.

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