First Lyme Disease mRNA Vaccine Announced
Moderna, Inc. today announced clinical program updates focusing on Lyme disease, a global health issue impacting about 120,000 people in the U.S. and Europe annually.
To address Lyme's biological complexity, Moderna is advancing a seven-valent approach with two Lyme disease vaccine candidates that will be developed in parallel.
Moderna announced on April 11, 2023, new vaccine candidates, mRNA-1982 and mRNA-1975, represent the Company's first application of its mRNA technology to bacterial pathogens such as Lyme disease.
"Our mRNA platform has changed medicine and will continue to have a major impact on global health. Today we are excited to announce multiple new vaccine candidates, including for enteric viruses, such as norovirus, and targeting Lyme disease, our first bacterial vaccine," said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, in a related press release.
mRNA-1982 is designed to elicit antibodies specific for Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes almost all Lyme disease in the U.S.
While mRNA-1975 is designed to elicit antibodies specific for the four major Borrelia species causing disease in the U.S. and Europe.
Lyme disease burden follows a bimodal age distribution, affecting mainly children under 15 and older adults. Patients can develop a rash, fever, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and headaches.
Older adults appear to have higher odds of unfavorable treatment response than younger patients, and neurologic manifestations are more common at presentation for this more aging adult population.
Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved a Lyme disease vaccine.
However, VLA15, a multivalent Lyme disease vaccine candidate produced by Pfizer In. and Valneva SE, is conducting late-stage clinical research.