Moderna has begun testing an mRNA flu vaccine in clinical trials, with the company announcing Wednesday that the first participants had been dosed in the Phase 1/2 study. The vaccine, mRNA-1010, is Moderna’s first seasonal flu vaccine candidate to enter clinical trials and will target influenza A H1n1, H3N2, and influenza B Yamagata and Victoria.
The company is aiming to enroll 180 participants ages 18 years and older in the trial, and eventually aims to study combination vaccines to target multiple respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and RSV.
“We are pleased to have begun this Phase 1/2 study of mRNA-1010, our first mRNA seasonal flu vaccine candidate to enter the clinic,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, said in a news release. “Respiratory combination vaccines are an important pillar of our overall mRNA vaccine strategy. We believe that the advantages of mRNA vaccines include the ability to combine different antigens to protect against multiple viruses and the ability to rapidly respond to the evaluation of respiratory viruses, such as influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV.”
Traditionally, annual influenza vaccines see efficacy of between 40-60%, but the new mRNA-based COVID-19 shots saw rates upwards of 90%. Moderna’s COVID-19 jab, specifically, saw 94.1% efficacy in those who had received two doses.
“Our vision is to develop an mRNA combination vaccine so that people can get one shot each fall for high efficacy protection against the most problematic respiratory viruses,” Bancel said. “We look forward to advancing our core modality of prophylactic mRNA vaccines so that we can continue to make an impact on global public health.”