Top mRNA Vaccines in Development

Having seen its popularity explode thanks to its utilization against COVID-19 in 2020, messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines have been an increasing source of diversification for companies in the biopharma industry, including advantages over traditional drugs such as being easily programmable, while also reducing development risk and financial costs. This has led to the sector exploring what else mRNA vaccines are capable of, including COVID-19 variants and beyond. This article will highlight some key mRNA vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials.

Moderna: mRNA-1010

Moderna, a frontrunner in the mRNA vaccine space, is developing mRNA-1010, an investigational quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine. This vaccine is designed to protect against the four strains of the flu virus set out by the World Health Organization (WHO): seasonal influenza A H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B Yamagata and Victoria. Leveraging mRNA technology, mRNA-1010 aims to offer a more effective and adaptable solution than traditional flu vaccines. Currently in phase 3 trials, early results have shown promising immunogenicity, suggesting that mRNA-1010 could revolutionize seasonal flu prevention.

BioNTech: BNT162b4

BioNTech, in partnership with Pfizer, developed the highly successful BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine. Building on this success, BioNTech is advancing BNT162b4, an updated formulation designed to target emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. BNT162b4 aims to enhance immune responses by targeting highly conserved non-spike proteins, thereby boosting and broadening the T-cell response, futureproofing against any variants that may emerge.

Arcturus Therapeutics: ARCT-810

Arcturus Therapeutics is developing ARCT-810, an mRNA-based therapy for Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to eliminate ammonia. ARCT-810 uses mRNA to encode functional OTC enzymes, potentially restoring metabolic function in affected individuals. The asset is currently undergoing phase 2 clinical trials.

CureVac: CV7202

German biopharma CureVac is advancing CV7202, an mRNA vaccine candidate for rabies. Traditional rabies vaccines require multiple doses and boosters, but CV7202 aims to provide robust and long-lasting immunity with fewer doses. Early clinical trials have demonstrated strong immune responses, making CV7202 a promising candidate for improving global rabies prevention efforts.

Sunshine Biopharma: K1.1

NASDAQ-listed Sunshine Biopharma is developing K1.1, an innovative mRNA-based anticancer therapy. This therapeutic vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells, potentially offering a new treatment option for various cancers. The mRNA encodes for cancer-specific antigens, prompting an immune response that targets and destroys malignant cells while sparing healthy tissue. Currently in its discovery phase, the vaccine is capable of destroying multidrug-resistant breast cancer cells, ovarian adenocarcinoma cells and pancreatic cancer cells.

AcadeMab Biomedical: AM-DV-01

Taiwan-based AcadeMab Biomedical is working on AM-DV-01, an mRNA vaccine targeting Dengue Type 2 virus. Dengue fever is a significant public health concern in tropical and subtropical regions. AM-DV-01 aims to provide immunity against one of the most prevalent and dangerous serotypes of the dengue virus. By encoding viral antigens in mRNA, this vaccine has the potential to elicit a strong and protective immune response.