Moderna is starting the next phase of clinical trials for an mRNA-based respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine as the company moves ahead with plans to explore further applications of the budding technology.
The company announced Tuesday that it has begun Phase 3 of its vaccine testing.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company plans to enroll 34,000 people over the age of 60 in a variety of countries in what is considered a major global study.
The vaccine is part of a larger movement within the company, and the biotech industry at large, to expand the use of mRNA technology that has previously been phased out.
Moderna has launched a phase 3 trial of its RSV vaccine using the same mRNA technology used for its COVID-19 shot. The company hopes to one day combine RSV vaccination, flu shot and Covid booster into one (file image)
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said: “RSV is one of the most common respiratory viruses, causing severe illness and hospitalization in the elderly, but there is still no vaccine available in the world. market.
‘We believe our vaccine candidate against RSV has the potential to protect against more than 1 million infections globally each year, improving quality of life for those at risk of infection. and reduce the burden on the health care system.’
Bancel also said the company plans to combine RSV vaccination with COVID-19 and flu vaccines in the future.
RSV is similar to the flu, in that it is an airborne virus that causes cold-like symptoms in the people it infects. While cases are rarely cut off, the elderly and young children face an increased risk.
The virus causes more than 175,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in elderly Americans annually.
The mRNA technology was first developed more than 30 years ago, but was not considered a potential platform for a vaccine until the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike the standard, ‘protein’, vaccine injects a neutralizing virus into a person’s body, instead the mRNA injections deploy a package of instructions to the body to make a neutralizing viral proteins.
In both cases, the body’s immune system detects the foreign protein and destroys it. In doing so, the immune system will now have the necessary antibodies to fight the protein in case it reappears in the body.
Germany-based BioNTech was the first to develop a COVID-19 vaccine using mRNA technology and partnered with New York City’s Pfizer to manufacture and distribute it.
Around the same time, Moderna also created the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
These images are generally easier to develop for biologists, and also easier and cheaper to make.
Now that Pandora’a mRNA Vaccine Box has opened, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are also trying to incorporate the technology into other parts of medicine.
Moderna is also working on a shingles mRNA vaccine, a cancer vaccine, a herpes vaccine, and an HIV vaccine, hoping investments in technology during Covid can help stave off other diseases, too. .
The company’s Covid vaccine has been widely successful, having been used 207 million times to fully immunize 75 million people in the US, just behind the Pfizer shot.
However, concern about these injections causing heart inflammation, especially in young men, has surfaced, giving some pauses about expanding mRNA use.
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk