The new combination vaccine, called mRNA-1073, combines Moderna's first-generations COVID-19 vaccine with its developing seasonal flu shot, mRNA-1010, according to the biotech. The company's flu vaccine encodes for hemagglutinin (HA) glycoproteins of 4 flu strains and targets lineages recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the prevention of influenza.
"Today we are announcing the first step in out novel respiratory vaccine program with the development of a single dose vaccine that combines a booster against COVID-19 and a booster against flu," Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel in a press release. "We are making progress on enrolling patients in our rare disease programs, and we are fully enrolled in our personalized cancer vaccine trial. We believe this is just the beginning of a new age of information-based medicines."
Moderna has also fully enrolled a Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating safety and reactogenicity of three different dose levels of mRNA-1010 in adults between the ages of 18 to 49 years and above 50 years.
In addition to the combination COVID and flu shot, Moderna is also developing a new pediatric combination vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV), called mRNA-1365, and a new infectious disease therapeutic vaccine candidate to complement the Epstein-Barr virus prophylactic vaccine, mRNA-1195. Moderna also continues to scale with 37 programs in development, including 22 ongoing clinical trials.
"We believe our mRNA platform can solve the world's greatest health challenges, from diseases impacting millions, to ultra-race diseases impacting dozens, to medicines personalized down to the individual level," Bancel added.
The portfolio update follows the launch of Moderna's highly successful COVID-19 vaccine, which was authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration last December and is pending full approval. Since December, the United States has administered over 148 doses of the mRNA-based vaccine, which requires two doses, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Messenger RNA technology, or mRNA, has been under development for drugs such as vaccines for years, but Moderna is one of the first companies to produce a mRNA vaccine that has been authorized for use in humans. Both mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines--developed by Moderna and Pfizer