Express Pharma

Moderna to develop mRNA-based shingles vaccine

The success of COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology from Moderna and rival Pfizer has prompted efforts to use the novel technology in other vaccines and therapeutics targetted at hard-to-treat diseases

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Moderna said last week that it is developing three new vaccines based on the same technology used for its COVID-19 shot, including one for viral infection shingles.

The success of COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology from Moderna and rival Pfizer has prompted efforts to use the novel technology in other vaccines and therapeutics targetted at hard-to-treat diseases.

Pfizer is also developing an mRNA-based vaccine for shingles and expects to begin clinical trials in the second half of 2022.

If successful, both companies will compete with GlaxoSmithKline’s two-dose vaccine Shingrix, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017.

Shingles typically develops in older adults who were infected with chicken pox, or the varicella-zoster virus, when younger. It is characterised by a painful rash that generally clears up within a month.

Moderna’s shingles vaccine is being developed to target the varicella-zoster virus.

The company is also developing a cancer vaccine and a shot against the herpes simplex virus-2, which causes genital herpes, a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).

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