Moderna Makes Annual Booster Combo Respiratory Vaccine Targeting all Four Endemic HCoVMarch 22, 2022
Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) is expanding its mRNA pipeline with two new development programs. This announcement reflects the company’s commitment to expanding its portfolio by building on Moderna’s experience with Spikevax, its COVID-19 vaccine.
The development programs include a combination respiratory vaccine candidate and a new program against all four of the endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV), Moderna said in its press release.
First, as part of Moderna’s approach to advance a portfolio of respiratory candidates, it is launching a respiratory combination vaccine program to target three of the most significant viruses causing respiratory disease in older adults. The new combination respiratory vaccine candidate (mRNA-1230) is envisioned as an annual booster targeting SARS-CoV-2 virus, influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the company said.
Second, Moderna is introducing a program to develop a vaccine candidate (mRNA-1287) against endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs). While less-well known than other coronaviruses, HCoVs are a significant cause of respiratory disease worldwide. Four HCoVs (HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1) are endemic globally, accounting for approximately 10% to 30% of upper respiratory tract infections in adults.
“We are pleased to add a combination respiratory vaccine candidate against three of the leading causes of respiratory disease in older adults, and a vaccine against all four of the endemic human coronaviruses as part of our strategy to address the substantial global burden of respiratory infections,” said Stephen Hoge, M.D., President of Moderna. “Our goal is to develop vaccines to address respiratory infections, and eventually combine many into a single annual booster vaccine with the aim of reducing the significant morbidity and mortality caused by these viruses.”
Respiratory tract infections are a major public health problem, and these development programs are aimed at the major causative agents. Coronaviruses, seasonal influenza, and RSV take a substantial toll on human health, particularly among older adults who experience more severe illness and greater mortality than younger adults.