mRNA Vaccine Candidate Released To Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infections

Moderna ships vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 to NIAID
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A Cambridge Massachusetts biotechnology company announced it has released the first batch of mRNA-1273, a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine candidate targeting the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus causing the COVID-19 disease in humans around the world.

On February 24, 2020, Moderna Inc., said in a press release that ‘vials of mRNA-1273 have been shipped to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to be used in a Phase 1 clinical study.

mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein.

The S protein complex is necessary for membrane fusion and host cell infection and has been the target of vaccines against the coronaviruses responsible for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 

This batch of mRNA-1273 was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

Previously, on January 24, 2020, Moderna announced a collaboration with investigators at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center.

“I want to thank the entire Moderna team for their extraordinary effort in responding to this global health emergency with record speed. The collaboration across Moderna, with NIAID, and with CEPI has allowed us to deliver a clinical batch in 42 days from sequence identification,” said Juan Andres, Chief Technical Operations and Quality Officer at Moderna, in a press release.

The Company’s manufacturing plant in Norwood, MA manufactures Moderna’s portfolio of mRNA development candidates. 

The potential advantages of an mRNA approach to prophylactic vaccines include the ability to mimic natural infection to stimulate a more potent immune response, combining multiple mRNAs into a single vaccine, rapid discovery to respond to emerging pandemic threats and manufacturing agility derived from the platform nature of mRNA vaccine design and production. 

mRNA-1273 is part of the Company’s core prophylactic vaccine modality.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can lead to respiratory illness, including MERS and SARS. Coronaviruses are transmitted between animals and people and can evolve into strains not previously identified in humans.

The first coronavirus was isolated in 1937. There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.

On January 7, 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was identified as the cause of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China.

Since then the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced various Travel Alerts regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in China, Japan, and South Korea.

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development news is published by Precision Vaccinations.