Dr. Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna Therapeutics, said the biotech firm would become the first U.S. company to enter Phase III of a clinical trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna is one of the top contenders in the global race to develop a vaccine to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“The plan is to start enrolling this morning, and this will continue over the next couple of months. We have a very strong demand of folks who volunteered to participate,” Afeyan told ABC News' chief anchor George Stephanopoulos Monday on "Good Morning America."

The blind trial is expected to include 30,000 volunteers. Half of the volunteers will receive Moderna’s vaccine and the other half will receive a placebo of sodium and water. Afeyan said countries will work to identify the most vulnerable people to ensure they receive a vaccine first.

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