Moderna Doses First Participants in Early Trial of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Candidates

Each vaccine candidate includes 8 mRNAs, which targets both hemagglutinin and neuraminidase at different doses and ratios.

The first participants have been dosed in Moderna’s phase 1/2 study of its seasonal influenza vaccine candidates, mRNA-1020 and mRNA-1030, which is analyzing the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of a single dose of mRNA-1020 and mRNA-1030 in healthy adults 18 years of age and older in the United States.

Each vaccine candidate includes 8 mRNAs, which targets both hemagglutinin and neuraminidase at different doses and ratios. Like mRNA-1010, mRNA-1020 and mRNA-1030 will target the strains that are recommended by the World Health Organization for the prevention of influenza, which includes seasonal influenza A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and influenza B/Yamagata and B/Victoria. Approximately 560 participants are enrolled in the study.

"We are pleased to apply Moderna's mRNA platform to address the longstanding design and manufacturing challenges associated with developing seasonal influenza vaccines,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, in a press release. “We believe that by targeting both hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, we can achieve broader immunity and higher vaccine efficacy against circulating influenza strains than traditional influenza vaccines. Moreover, we expect that our platform's flexibility in targeting multiple strains coupled with our ability to manufacture quickly will facilitate production of a vaccine that matches the predominant circulating influenza strain.”

There are 3 main types of influenza viruses (A, B, and C) that infect humans, with influenza A and B causing the most significant morbidity and mortality. Additionally, influenza A and B viruses carry 2 major surface glycoproteins that are essential across the viral life cycle: hemagglutinin and neuraminidase.

Previous studies have predicted that targeting both viral proteins may limit the virus’ ability to escape the host immune responses through mutations and potentially lead to better protection.

Moderna announced that it will continue to pursue an iterative approach to influenza vaccine development by increasing the levels of enhancements aimed at improving immune responses and increasing immunologic range.

REFERENCE

MODERNA announces first participants dosed in phase 1/2 study with mRNA-1020 and mRNA-1030 seasonal influenza vaccine candidates. Moderna. April 11, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://investors.modernatx.com/news/news-details/2022/Moderna-Announces-First-Participants-Dosed-in-Phase-12-Study-with-mRNA-1020-and-mRNA-1030-Seasonal-Influenza-Vaccine-Candidates/default.aspx