Infectious Diseases | Immuno-Oncology | Rare Diseases
The Advantages of mRNA Vaccines
At Moderna, we believe the world needs novel, innovative approaches to address both known and future infectious disease threats. To that end, we are committed to advancing mRNA-based vaccines and therapies for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
Moderna’s mRNA vaccine technology offers potential advantages in efficacy, speed of development, and production scalability and reliability, which may position our company as a leader in preparing for and responding to infectious disease threats that place millions of people at risk around the world.
There are currently nine prophylactic mRNA vaccines in our development pipeline, with seven Phase 1 studies currently underway.
We believe mRNA-based vaccines offer several advantages, including:
- Ability to mimic many aspects of natural viral infections. mRNA enters cells and is used to produce viral antigen proteins from within the cell that include natural, post-translational modifications. This mimics the process by which natural viral infections occur, where information from viral genomes is used to produce viral proteins from within a cell. This can potentially enhance the immune response, including improved B and T cell responses.
- Multiplexing of mRNA for more compelling product profiles. Multiple mRNAs encoding for multiple viral proteins can be included in a single vaccine, permitting production of complex multimeric antigens that are much more difficult to achieve with traditional technologies. As an example, our CMV vaccine (mRNA-1647) contains six mRNAs, five of which encode five different proteins that combine to form a pentameric protein complex that is a potentially critical antigen for immune protection against CMV.
- Rapid discovery and advancement of mRNA programs into the clinic. Many viral antigens are known. However, with traditional vaccines, the target pathogens or antigens have to be produced in dedicated cell-cultures and/or fermentation-based manufacturing production processes in order to initiate testing of potential vaccine constructs. Our ability to design our antigens in silico allows us to rapidly produce and test antigens in preclinical models, which can dramatically accelerate our vaccine selection.
- Capital efficiency and speed from shared manufacturing processes and infrastructure. Traditional vaccines require product-dedicated production processes, facilities, and operators. Our mRNA vaccines are produced in a manufacturing process that is sufficiently consistent across our pipeline to allow us to use a single facility to produce all of our mRNA vaccines.