Moderna leads development of mRNA vax in infectious diseases: Report

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) While several pharmaceutical companies have mRNA vaccines in late-stage development for other infectious diseases, Moderna is dominating in terms of research and development (R&D) investment in mRNA vaccines, according to a report on Tuesday.

The global messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine market currently consists entirely of vaccines for Covid-19.

The rapid sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome and the subsequent development of mRNA vaccines in response to the pandemic led to the authorisation of the first of these vaccines in December 2020.

The report by GlobalData, a data and analytics company, reveals that several late-stage pipeline products are in development for various infectious diseases, such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and cytomegalovirus, as well as for Covid.

“Most of the current late-stage Covid-19 pipeline is focused on developing boosters against emerging Covid-19 variants in the global context,” said Barbora Salcman, Infectious Disease Analyst at GlobalData, in a statement.

“However, in the upcoming years, approval of mRNA vaccines is expected for other infectious diseases, especially influenza, where there are currently 11 different pipeline products in Phase II or III clinical trials,” Salcman added.

Moderna has Phase III pipeline candidates in four different indications (Covid, influenza, RSV, and cytomegalovirus) and is also developing a Phase III combination vaccine against Covid and influenza.

The company also possesses various unique mRNA vaccine candidates in Phase II development.

These include candidates for Zika virus, Mpox, and herpes, as well as the bacterial infection Lyme disease, with Moderna being the only company in the late-stage pipeline that is targeting mRNA vaccines against bacterial pathogens.

“Moderna’s Covid vaccine, Spikevax (elasomeran), is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a safe and effective vaccine for everyone over 6 months of age and above. Although Spikevax sales are projected to decline sharply from 2023 onwards, as the company has stakes in many different pipeline agents, it will remain a major player in the mRNA vaccines market in the coming years,” Salcman said.

Despite the success of mRNA vaccines for Covid, the commercial performance of mRNA vaccines outside this field is likely to vary greatly by indication, depending on the current competition and unmet needs within the space, the report said.

“mRNA vaccines may face tough competition in indications such as influenza, as the current flu vaccines available on the market are safe, reliable, and hold a strong position within the market itself,” Salcman said.

“However, on the other hand, indications such as cytomegalovirus may greatly benefit from the approval of mRNA vaccines, protecting immunocompromised patients from the infection, especially as there isn’t any approved vaccine available.”



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