Health – Moderna seeks approval of RSV vaccine for the elderly – Health

Cambridge/Munich (dpa) – The American company Moderna intends to apply for approval of an RSV vaccine for adults over the age of 60 in the first half of the year.

The vaccine called “mRNA-1345” has shown “promising results” in the phase 3 study required for approval, the company announced on Tuesday evening. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes respiratory diseases. The Robert Koch Institute counts among the patients at risk, for example, premature babies and children with a history of lung diseases as well as people who are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system.

Reduced risk of serious illness

“We found that using the vaccine reduced the risk of confirmed severe RSV disease by nearly 84 percent,” said Paul Burton, chief medical officer at Moderna, the German news agency. Vaccine efficacy against RSV-related lower respiratory tract disease with two or more symptoms was examined. The safety profile was also very good. According to the company, approximately 37,000 people aged 60 and over 22 countries participated in the study.

The so-called messenger RNA (messenger ribonucleic acid, mRNA) has become widely known through its use in corona vaccines. The mRNA from the vaccines provides some of the genetic information of the virus to human cells. Armed with this information, they produce a protein of the pathogen against which the body then develops defense reactions. Upon subsequent contact with the pathogen, the immune system recognizes the protein and can fight the virus faster and more specifically.

RSV especially dangerous for infants and young children

“In this vaccine, we encapsulate this messenger RNA in the same lipid that we use for the Covid vaccine, which is used in hundreds of millions of people around the world,” Burton said.

The vaccine developed is initially intended for people aged 60 and over. However, RSV can also be particularly dangerous for infants and young children. Moderna is also researching this, Burton said. “We have five other programs underway for young children, pregnant women and a number of other populations. We will be releasing this data in the coming months.”

RSV has placed a heavy burden on children’s hospitals in Germany and other countries this season. The combination of numerous cases of influenza, corona and RSV has also posed challenges for the healthcare system. The goal is to combine different vaccines against respiratory viruses, such as corona and RSV, Burton said. However, such studies are more difficult to conduct and require more time. “I think over the next few years we should be able to develop these combination vaccines that would really provide very comprehensive public health protection.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa:230118-99-257581/3

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