Moderna announced yesterday that doses have been given to participants in a Phase 3 clinical trial of seasonal influenza vaccines using the revolutionary mRNA technology that allowed the company to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in record time.
“We are pleased to begin this Phase 3 study of our seasonal influenza vaccine candidate, mRNA-1010, our fourth mRNA vaccine candidate to begin a pivotal Phase 3 study. mRNA-1010 is the first of several influenza vaccine candidates we are developing with the aim of iteratively improving traditional vaccines by inducing broad and robust immune responses. We believe our mRNA platform, with the flexibility and speed of our manufacturing process, is well-positioned to address the significant unmet need in seasonal flu,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna in a statement released by the company yesterday. “Influenza vaccines are a key pillar in our respiratory vaccine strategy that includes the development of combination candidates targeting multiple viruses in a single vaccine, including influenza with SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory syncytial virus. With the start of dosing for its mRNA-1010 program, Moderna now has four programs in late stage Phase 3 studies, including its SARS-CoV-2 booster, RSV, seasonal flu and CMV vaccine candidates. Beginning in the fall of 2022, the Company’s Phase 3 pipeline could lead to three respiratory commercial launches over the next two to three years.”
The vaccine candidate being tested in the trial, mRNA-1010 “encodes for hemagglutinin (HA) glycoproteins of the four influenza strains recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the prevention of influenza, including influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and influenza B/Yamagata- and B/Victoria-lineages,” according to the statement from the company.