Moderna’s mRNA Access program (Nasdaq: MRNA) enables researchers to use its mRNA technology platform for research projects related to emerging and neglected infectious diseases.
“It takes a community of scientists and disease experts to develop novel vaccines to tackle our greatest public health threats,” said Hamilton Bennett, Moderna’s senior director, vaccine access and partnerships.
“mRNA Access was born of the idea that we are stewards of our platform, and by allowing researchers to access that platform and leverage the preclinical, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing capabilities that we’ve created, we could accelerate the development of novel vaccines,” Bennett said.
To prepare for future pandemics, the company is keeping tabs on known and emerging pathogens that pose a considerable risk with the potential for devastating impact on lives around the globe.
Before the pandemic, Moderna had mRNA development candidates for various indications, including infectious diseases such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Zika.
It was Spikevax, the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, that showed that its mRNA platform could enable the rapid development of safe and efficacious vaccines.
Moderna hopes that mRNA Access will complement its development efforts and attract talented scientists and disease experts who can translate their understanding of the immune markers of protection into effective mRNA-based vaccines.
“Moderna is interested in collaborating with scientists who have novel approaches to inducing these protective responses, as well as those that see an opportunity to improve on an existing approach by using mRNA,” a Moderna spokesperson said.
The company’s global public health portfolio aims to address known infectious diseases of significant impact. Moderna is also working on preparing for the next emerging threat, which the company calls ‘Disease X.'”
While the company’s current clinical portfolio includes vaccines targeting COVID-19, HIV, Nipah and Zika, Moderna will focus on other pathogens such as tuberculosis, malaria and dengue by 2025.
“Some of the priority pathogens have epidemic potential like Ebola, Nipah and MERS, but they are also prototypes for related pathogens,” a Moderna spokesperson said. “The prototype vaccine approach learns from vaccines developed against representative viruses to rapidly adapt to tackle other related pathogens, in this way, preparing for Disease X. The value of this prototype vaccine approach was demonstrated when early research on SARS-CoV-1 and MERS enabled Moderna’s rapid response to SARS-CoV-2.”
Filed Under: Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease