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Moderna launches phase 1/2 study of mRNA-based flu vaccine

Vaccine will target flu lineages currently recommended by the World Health Organization

Moderna has announced the launch of a phase 1/2 study of its quadrivalent seasonal flu mRNA vaccine candidate, developed using the same platform used for its COVID-19 jab.

As a specialist in the mRNA field, Moderna has already found great success with its mRNA COVID-19 vaccine – mRNA-1273 – which was one of the first vaccines to be approved for the virus in the EU at the beginning of the year.

Now, Moderna is looking to extend that success into seasonal flu, while also progressing various studies for potential booster doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The flu vaccine candidate – known as mRNA-1010 – is Moderna’s first seasonal influenza vaccine to enter the clinic. It will target the lineages recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the prevention of flu, including seasonal influenza A H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B Yamagata and Victoria.

The US biotech company is aiming to enrol approximately 180 healthy participants aged 18 years and older into the initial phase 1/2 study to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of mRNA-1010.

Currently, flu vaccines are approximately 40-60% effective, and their formulation is decided six to nine months prior to when the vaccines are intended for use.

Moderna’s seasonal flu programme is seeking to evaluate a range of candidates, while exploring different antigen combinations against flu viruses in the clinic.

The company is also planning to explore potential combination vaccines that protect against flu, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV).

“Respiratory combination vaccines are an important pillar of our overall mRNA vaccine strategy. We believe that the advantages of mRNA vaccines include the ability to combine different antigens to protect against multiple viruses and the ability to rapidly respond to the evolution of respiratory viruses, such as influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna.

“Our vision is to develop an mRNA combination vaccine so that people can get one shot every autumn for high efficacy protection against the most problematic respiratory viruses. We look forward to advancing our core modality of prophylactic mRNA vaccines so that we can continue to make an impact on global public health,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

8th July 2021

From: Research

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