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Moderna receives US funding to develop influenza vaccines

Moderna has announced a project award of $176 million through the Rapid Response Partnership Vehicle (RRPV) to accelerate the development of mRNA-based pandemic influenza vaccines.

The RRPV is a Consortium funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The project award will support late-stage development for an mRNA-based vaccine to enable the licensure of a pre-pandemic vaccine against H5 influenza virus. This subtype of influenza virus causes a highly infectious, severe disease in birds called avian influenza and poses a risk for spillover into the human population. The agreement also includes additional options to prepare and accelerate a response to future public health threats.

"mRNA vaccine technology offers advantages in efficacy, speed of development, and production scalability and reliability in addressing infectious disease outbreaks, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. "We are pleased to continue our collaboration with BARDA to expedite our development efforts for mRNA-based pandemic influenza vaccines and support the global public health community in preparedness against potential outbreaks."

In 2023, Moderna initiated a Phase 1/2 study to generate safety and immunogenicity data of investigational pandemic influenza vaccine (mRNA-1018) in healthy adults 18 years of age and older. The study includes vaccine candidates against H5 and H7 avian influenza viruses. Results from the study are expected in 2024 and will inform Phase 3 development plans.

 

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