Moderna says RSV vaccine 84% effective at preventing symptoms in older adults

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Jan 17 (Reuters) – Moderna Inc said on Tuesday that its experimental messenger RNA vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was 83.7% effective in a late-stage trial in preventing at least two symptoms, such as cough and fever, in aged adults. 60 and over.

RSV, which produces cold-like symptoms but can be fatal for young children and older adults, causes about 14,000 deaths each year in adults 65 and older. The disease has increased in the United States and Europe this fall along with influenza and COVID-19.

There is currently no vaccine for the virus in adults. Moderna, Pfizer Inc and GSK Plc are racing to bring their RSV vaccines to market first.

Pfizer and GSK filed applications for US regulatory approval late last year. Pfizer’s RSV vaccine was found to be 66.7% effective against two or more symptoms in late-stage trials.

Moderna said it intends to submit its vaccine, mRNA-1345, for regulatory approval consideration globally in the first half of 2023.

Moderna President Stephen Hoge told Reuters that his vaccine appears to compare favorably with experimental shots from Pfizer and GSK.

“It’s very exciting to see progress in RSV vaccines in older adults, and I think these two vaccines have shown pretty remarkable results as well,” Hoge said. “We really think we’re in that top class – 84% is a terrific efficacy number.”

The RSV vaccine market could be worth more than $10 billion globally, half of which comes from the United States, according to Cowen analyst Tyler Van Buren.

Moderna’s study was conducted in approximately 37,000 participants aged 60 and over. Data analysis was performed after 64 participants contracted RSV. The company plans to release the full data at a medical meeting.

Hoge said Moderna has begun secondary analyzes on the vaccine’s efficacy against more severe disease and hospitalization. He said it was too early to provide a potential price range for the vaccine he expects to be given each year.

The vaccine was generally found to be safe, with the most common side effects including pain at the injection site, fatigue and headache. Hoge said there was no concern about myocarditis — a type of heart inflammation linked to COVID mRNA vaccines. (Reporting by Patrick Wingrove in New York and Leroy Leo and Mariam E Sunny in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Caroline Humer and Bill Berkrot)

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