Moderna flu shot candidate fails to find early success in phase 3

Ten months after Moderna announced its phase 3 trial for a flu shot candidate, the company says the vaccine "did not accrue sufficient cases in an early efficacy analysis" to declare success.

The company is not stopping there, however; it has five total vaccine candidates in various stages of clinical development. 

Moderna has also developed an update to one of the candidates "that is expected to have improved immunogenicity against influenza B strains and announced plans to initiate a confirmatory phase 3 trial this month," according to an April 11 company news release.

"With mRNA-1010, our first investigational vaccine against seasonal flu, we are encouraged by the consistently strong immunogenicity results against influenza A, and titers consistent with non-inferiority against influenza B strains in the most recent phase 3 trial," Stéphane Bancel, Moderna's CEO, said in the release. "With our mRNA platform and technology, as well as our agile manufacturing capabilities, we are confident that we can quickly develop safe and effective vaccines to address critical unmet needs."

Moderna competitor Pfizer is also testing an mRNA flu vaccine candidate. The company initiated its phase 3 trial in September. However, prior to Pfizer's phase 3 trial, Moderna filed suit against the company in August for allegedly infringing on its patented mRNA technology. A Pfizer spokesperson previously told Becker's it was "surprised by" the allegation and denies any infringement.

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