What is CMV?
CMV is a common virus that many adults and children contract in their lifetime. Though mostly asymptomatic, it can be passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn child.
CMV is the leading infectious cause of birth defects in the United States with approximately 25,000 newborns in the U.S. infected every year.1,2
Approximately 20% of infected infants will have birth defects that include neurodevelopmental disabilities such as hearing loss, vision impairment, varying degrees of learning disability and decreased muscle strength and coordination. 3
Currently, there is no approved vaccine for the prevention of CMV infection.
Moderna's mRNA Approach to a CMV Vaccine
Moderna's messenger RNA (mRNA) platform directs cells to safely produce and express antigenic proteins that trigger the body's immune system to produce antibodies that can neutralize the virus and prevent infection.
Moderna's mRNA vaccine combines six mRNAs (five encoding for the pentamer complex and one encoding for gB) together into one vial.
A vaccine that stimulates strong antibody response against these antigens is expected to prevent CMV infection, and women protected from CMV infection by a vaccine would be protected from having a child with congenital CMV infection.
Other Related Programs
1 Congenital CMV and Hearing Loss. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/cmv/hearing-loss.html.
2 Schleiss et al. Progress toward development of a vaccine against congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. 2017; 24(12): e00268-17.
3 Congenital CMV and Birth Defects. American Pregnancy Association. Available at: https://americanpregnancy.org/birth-defects/congenital-cmv-birth-defects/