Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) shares jumped in Thursday after announcing that it was creating a two-in-one COVID-19 booster shot capable of protecting against seasonal flu and coronavirus.
Moderna developing a two-in-one vaccine
According to a press release, the new vaccine, dubbed mRNA-1073, combines Moderna’s existing COVID-19 vaccine with a flu shot equally in development. Moderna’s stock soared more than 5% when the news was released.
The company’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, said, “Today we are announcing the first step in our novel respiratory vaccine program with the development of a single dose vaccine that combines a booster against COVID-19 and a booster against flu. We are making progress on enrolling patients in our rare disease programs, and we are fully enrolled in our personalized cancer vaccine trial. We believe this is just the beginning of a new age of information-based medicines.”
The news follows Moderna’s highly successful introduction of its mRNA-based two-dose Covid vaccine, which received emergency use authorization in December. Already, over 147 million Moderna vaccines have been given in the United States as per CDC data.
mRNA technology is work that has been in progress for years, but the company’s vaccine and that of Pfizer are the first to receive approval for use in humans. Coronavirus vaccines based on mRNA induce an immune response by triggering the production of a harmless portion of the virus.
Moderna announced plans to develop a combined shot in April
Previously Bancel had indicated that the company was looking to create a booster shot offering combined protection against the viruses.
Bancel stated, “What we’re trying to do at Moderna actually is to get a flu vaccine in the clinic this year and then combine our flu vaccine to our COVID-19 vaccine so you only have to get one boost at your local CVS store … every year that would protect you to the variant of concern against Covid and the seasonal flu strain.”