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Moderna on Wednesday said its combination vaccine targeting Covid and the flu will move to a final stage trial in adults ages 50 and above this year after showing positive results in an early to mid-stage study.
The biotech company hopes its shot, mRNA-1083, can win approval from regulators in 2025.
Moderna and other vaccine makers like Pfizer believe combination vaccines will simplify what people can do to protect themselves against respiratory viruses that typically surge around the same time of the year.
“Combination vaccines offer an important opportunity to improve consumer and provider experience, increase compliance with public health recommendations, and deliver value for healthcare systems,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.
“We are excited to move combination respiratory vaccines into Phase 3 development and look forward to partnering with public health officials to address the significant seasonal threat posed to people by these viruses,” he added.
The mRNA-1083 shot generated an immune response similar to or greater than two currently available flu vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline in the early to mid-stage clinical trial.
Moderna’s combination shot also produced an immune response similar to its bivalent Covid vaccine, which targets the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 and the original strain of the virus.
The trial evaluated the combination shot in two different age groups: people 50 to 64 years of age and participants 65 to 79.
The safety data of mRNA-1083 was similar to that of the stand-alone Covid shot, according to Moderna. No new safety concerns were identified with the combination vaccine.
Moderna is also developing a combination shot targeting the flu and RSV, and another vaccine targeting all three respiratory viruses: Covid, flu and RSV.
Meanwhile, Pfizer and BioNTech also are developing a vaccine that targets both Covid and the flu. The companies started a phase one trial for the shot in November and said they expect to launch it in 2024 or later.