Moderna, a leading biotech company, announced on Wednesday the successful results of its first combination vaccine. This innovative vaccine effectively protects against both influenza and Covid-19, offering hope for a comprehensive solution to these respiratory illnesses. With plans to launch as early as 2025, Moderna is taking the necessary steps to address the post-pandemic landscape.
Promising Results and Acceptable Side Effects
During an early-stage trial, Moderna's combination vaccine performed on par with the two individual vaccines it was tested against. Moreover, the company reported that side effects were deemed "acceptable." These positive outcomes have propelled Moderna towards embarking on a Phase 3 trial later this year.
A Strategic Shift for Moderna
The development of the combination jab is pivotal in Moderna's postpandemic strategy. As revenues from its Covid-19 vaccine diminish, the company aims to chart a new course. Sales projections indicate a sharp decline from $19.3 billion last year to an anticipated $7.1 billion this year, according to FactSet. Consequently, Moderna's stock has reflected this downturn, experiencing a more than 40% decrease. Even with recent indications of increased interest in this year's updated Covid-19 vaccine and positive data from its extensive pipeline of experimental medicines, the stock has struggled to rebound.
The Promise of Combination Vaccines
With its sights set on rejuvenation, Moderna is placing considerable bets on combination vaccines that combat various respiratory illnesses. The company's development portfolio includes shots that provide protection not only against influenza and Covid-19 but also respiratory syncytial virus. Moderna envisions that these combination vaccines will significantly contribute to its respiratory franchise, projecting sales within the range of $8 billion to $15 billion by 2027.
In conclusion, Moderna's breakthrough in developing a combination vaccine for influenza and Covid-19 marks a significant stride towards comprehensive respiratory protection. With promising trial results and strategic planning, Moderna is poised to revolutionize the landscape of respiratory disease prevention.
A Promising Step Towards a Combination Vaccine
Today, we have received new data that brings us one step closer to the development of a combination vaccine. Known as mRNA-1083, this innovative vaccine combines Moderna's experimental Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1283, with an influenza vaccine called mRNA-1010. Just last month, Moderna announced positive results from a trial of their influenza vaccine and plans to release it as a standalone shot next year.
In this particular trial, the focus was on measuring the immune responses triggered by the combination vaccine, rather than real-world efficacy. Moderna proudly shares that the immune responses induced by the combination shot against influenza viruses were comparable to, or even greater than, the immune responses generated by standalone influenza vaccines. For the trial, they used either GSK's Fluarix or Sanofi's Fluzone HD, depending on the age of the patients.
As for the immune responses to the virus responsible for Covid-19, they were found to be similar to those elicited by Moderna's standalone Covid-19 vaccine.
Of course, investors are understandably interested in the potential side effects of the vaccine. Traditional influenza vaccines typically have minimal side effects, but it is worth noting that mRNA-based vaccines like Moderna's can sometimes induce reactions such as fever. A high incidence of side effects could affect the commercial viability of the drug.
Thankfully, Moderna has reported that the combination shot's reactogenicity profile, which includes short-term responses like headache and fever, is deemed "acceptable." These responses are similar to what patients experienced in the trial when only receiving Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine. It is worth noting that less than 4% of patients who received the combination vaccine experienced grade 3 (severe) reactions.
Looking ahead, Moderna plans to commence Phase 3 trials for the combination vaccine later this year, with hopes of obtaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2025.