Moderna develops vaccines for herpes viruses, chickenpox and types of cancer

Moderna disclosed this Friday that it is developing vaccines against the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster (VZV), which causes chickenpox, and another with applications for two types of cancer, based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. , used in its vaccine for covid-19.

The US biotech company recently announced that it had begun developing a vaccine against HIV; another against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and another against the cytomegalovirus (CMV), in all cases latent viruses that remain in the body after infection, according to a statement.

“We are committed to addressing latent viruses with the goal of avoiding lifelong medical illnesses with our mRNA vaccine programs,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel, adding that more lines could soon be added to the current five.

Moderna, which at the moment only has the vaccine against covid-19 approved, explained that the serum understudy for the herpes simplex virus is aimed at the HSV-2 type, which mainly infects the genitals, with the idea that it offers cross-protection. against the HSV-1 type, which affects the mouth, face, and genitals.

Regarding the product for VZV, Moderna maintained that it is designed to express the E glycoprotein of this virus to “reduce the rate of herpes” with a focus on the adult population, which is more susceptible to injury after 50 years of age. of herpes zoster when their immunity declines and reactivates.

As for the “control” vaccine for cancer, the company said that its trial seeks to stimulate T-cells -lymphocytes that eliminate tumor cells- and that it would have applications for two types, advanced or metastatic cutaneous melanoma, and non-small cell lung carcinoma.

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