Moderna is making three new mRNA vaccines, including one for cancer

Moderna is developing three new mRNA vaccine candidates against the Herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, and cancer.

Published Tue, Feb 22 2022 4:42 AM CST   |   Updated Fri, Mar 18 2022 11:27 AM CDT

Moderna is expanding its mRNA pipeline with three new vaccine development programs.

Moderna is making three new mRNA vaccines, including one for cancer 01 |

The latest press release by Moderna includes announcements for three different vaccine candidates: mRNA-1608, a vaccine candidate against Herpes simplex virus (HSV), mRNA-1468, a vaccine candidate against varicella-zoster virus (VZV) to reduce the rate of herpes zoster (shingles), and mRNA-4359, a new checkpoint cancer vaccine.

"We are pleased to announce these new development programs, which reflect the continued productivity of our platform and the potential of our mRNA technology to impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people. We are committed to addressing latent viruses with the goal of preventing the lifelong medical conditions that they cause with our mRNA vaccine programs," said Stephane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

"With our HSV and VZV vaccine candidates, we also hope to improve the quality of life for those with symptomatic disease. With our new checkpoint cancer vaccine, we look forward to exploring if we can induce T cells specific to PD-L1 and IDO1 through vaccination. Our research teams are working on additional mRNA candidates, which we look forward to sharing in the future," Bancel continued.

HSV and VZV are latent viruses, meaning viruses remain that the body for life after infection and can lead to life-long medical conditions. Moderna is currently developing five vaccine candidates against latent viruses, those for HSV and VZV, and one for cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Moderna's checkpoint cancer vaccine expresses Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) antigens, with the goal of stimulating the effector T-cells that target those antigens to kill tumor cells. Moderna plans to explore its application in metastatic cutaneous melanoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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