Pfizer yesterday started a late-stage US trial of an influenza vaccine involving 25,000 patients, among the first such studies for a messenger RNA flu shot.
The company said that the first participants had been dosed with the vaccine, which is based on the same technology used in its widely-used COVID-19 shot developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech SE.
Messenger RNA technology allows changing the vaccine strains relatively faster, and Pfizer expects this flexibility and its rapid manufacturing to potentially allow better strain matches in future years.
Currently, vaccines against flu such as CSL Seqirus’ Fluad Quadrivalent or Flucelvax Quadrivalent are inactivated vaccines, where viruses are grown in a culture and then killed using certain chemicals, a process that requires months.
Early-stage data from Moderna’s flu vaccine last year disappointed investors after it showed the company’s mRNA-based flu vaccine was no better than the already-approved shots in the market. Moderna, though, also started a late-stage trial of its flu vaccine in June this year.
Edits by EP News Bureau