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Moderna Plunges as mRNA-based Flu Vaccine Fails to Ace Existing Shots

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(Reuters) – Moderna Inc shares tumbled 11% after early data showed that the company’s mRNA-based flu vaccine might not be strong enough to give it an edge over already approved flu vaccines in the market, especially for older people.The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based vaccine maker said in an investor presentation that antibody levels of its vaccine against four seasonal strains of influenza A and B in an early stage study were not as robust in older adults as Sanofi’s Fluzone HD.webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-1122′,pos: 1122});”On one hand, the antibodies increased to good levels, but on the other hand, the levels aren’t necessarily seen as high or necessarily better than some high-efficacy vaccines such as Flublok or Fluzone HD,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a client note.The vaccine candidate, mRNA-1010, is based on the messenger RNA technology that also underpins the company’s COVID-19 shots.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-520′,pos: 520});Following the huge success of mRNA-based vaccines in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic globally, drugmakers are rushing to tap the technology and develop shots for other diseases, including influenza.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-1520′,pos: 1520});The early-stage study, testing the vaccine in 180 subjects, is ongoing and a mid-stage study testing it against an already approved flu vaccine is fully enrolled with 500 participants, the company said in a press release, adding that the interim analysis is expected in early 2022.This data, though limited, puts Moderna ahead of other drugmakers, including rival Pfizer Inc, which is also testing a flu vaccine based on messenger RNA.Moderna also said it was developing a pan-respiratory annual booster vaccine, which would target multiple viruses including COVID-19, flu and Respiratory syncytial virus.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-141′,pos: 141});The new vaccine, mRNA-1345, has demonstrated positive early stage results, it said.Vaccine developer Novavax is also testing a combined flu and COVID-19 vaccine, based on protein subunits, which has shown promise in preclinical studies.


Reuters Health Information © 2021 


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