The first Covid flu vaccine soon on the market? Moderna’s promising trials – L’Express

the looming legal battle between Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech –

After being a pioneer in the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, Moderna seems well on its way to repeat the feat. Monday June 10, the American biotechnology company communicated the results of its latest clinical trials aimed at developing a combined vaccine against influenza and Covid-19.

This double dose aims to vaccinate patients against the two diseases in a single injection, like the MMR vaccine, compulsory for newborns in France since 2018 and which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Tested on around 8,000 people during the winter of 2023-2024, Moderna’s influenza-Covid-19 vaccine thus presented good results, to the point of triggering “a higher immune response” than separate vaccines already approved against these two diseases. , according to Moderna. One more step towards producing the first vaccine of this type.

Combined vaccine versus two separate doses

Moderna is not the only pharmaceutical company aiming for this objective: like it, Pfizer, BioNTech, Sanofi and Novavax are trying to develop this flu-Covid-19 cocktail. However, Moderna is the first laboratory to provide results from phase 3, i.e. large-scale, trials.

Called mRNA-1083, its double vaccine uses messenger RNA technology. It thus combines two distinct vaccines, developed by the company: its “latest generation” vaccine against Covid-19, and its candidate vaccine against influenza. At the moment, neither has received marketing authorization.

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In order to test its effectiveness, patients in the clinical trial presented on Monday were divided into two groups of 4,000 people. In the first group, made up of adults aged 65 and over, Moderna compared the effectiveness of its flu-Covid-19 cocktail against two vaccines administered separately: its own vaccine against Covid-19, developed and then updated during the pandemic, as well as the flu vaccine Fluzone from Sanofi, leader in this market.

In the second group, this time adults aged 50 to 64, the effectiveness of the combined vaccine was once again compared to two separate injections: its old vaccine against Covid-19, again, and the vaccine against the flu. Fluarix from GlaxoSmithKline. A product with a lower dosage than that of Sanofi because it is intended for a younger population, precise The echoes.

A more effective and practical cocktail

Results: Moderna’s combined vaccine generally elicited a higher immune response against the Covid-19 and flu viruses, compared to that elicited by the separate injections. For the boss of the American company Stéphane Bancel, being able to administer a single vaccine against these two diseases at the same time could make it possible to increase vaccination rates in the targeted population.

“Combination vaccines can reduce the burden of respiratory viruses on health systems and pharmacies and provide people with more convenient vaccination options,” explains a company press release. Moderna also states its desire to submit detailed results of the trial for publication in a scientific journal.

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The company is also expected to “talk with regulatory authorities about next steps,” the statement said. “The objective is to submit the marketing application file in Europe and the United States this year,” says the Echoes Moderna’s head of infectious disease product development, Jacqueline Miller. This step therefore seems to place the American company in first position in the race to produce the very first combined influenza-Covid-19 vaccine.