Research has begun for several years, and human studies are still in their infancy, but the company’s management is optimistic that in a few years the invention of vaccines and drugs will be like creating software.
“We use the same four-letter code” for each vaccine and drug, says Bancel, being sure that “we can increase the number of products we develop at a rate that has never been done before,” according to G4media.ro, which cites Bloomberg. Within a few years, Moderna could have 60 drugs and vaccines, either in different phases of human studies or close to this point, says the company’s CEO.
Moderna announced a week ago that it has started testing people for a flu vaccine that uses messenger RNA technology, like the COVID-19 vaccine. The number of those included in the tests is 180 adults. This clinical study aims to evaluate and the intensity of the immune response to a new influenza vaccine based on messenger RNA, called mRNA-1010.
The flu is an obvious target for the American company Moderna, and an influenza vaccine could be combined with that for COVID-19. And Pfizer / BioNTech recently announced that it will begin studies for the flu vaccine this year. According to some initial conclusions, theoretically, the messenger RNA vaccine could be more effective than conventional influenza vaccines, which have an effectiveness of 40% – 60%.
It remains to be seen how far messenger RNA-based technology can expand into the therapeutic market. To treat chronic diseases, companies must demonstrate that they can deliver therapies to target organs and that mRNA can be safely administered.
The general manager of Moderna, Stephane Bancel, claims that if messenger RNA works in this case, a new industry will be born for more and various treatments, from heart disease, cancer to rare genetic diseases. Moderna’s CEO is optimistic that Moderna will develop products for viruses like Nipah and Zika or HIV.
The experimental vaccines developed by Moderna are in their early stages in human studies. The exception is the experienced cytomegalovirus vaccine, for which there is no such product. Modern also plans this year studies in humans with a vaccine against another complicated pathogen, Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis.