CAMBRIDGE, MA – The head of the UK branch of pharmaceutical company Moderna said that a new “superab” is in development that will essentially be a multi-vaccine – offering protection against multiple variants of COVID-19, as well as the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – will be made available to the public by winter 2025.
Moderna UK General Manager Darius Hughes made the announcement at the launch of the company’s new COVID-19 bivalent vaccine, which has been designed not only to offer protection against the original strain of the coronavirus, but the later Omicron variant and several offshoots as well.
Hughes noted at the event that the messenger RNA technology in the new bivalent vaccine would prevent the protection it produces in subjects from waning as quickly over time when compared to earlier vaccines on the market.
The launch of the bivalent inoculation, as well as Hughes’ announcement of the in-development “superjab,” comes amid a decrease in demand for COVID-19 boosters from the public as of late, and Moderna’s attempts to convince investors that the company’s vaccines are still stand to be a significant revenue source.
To that end, Hughes said that Moderna is also testing additional separate vaccines for flu and RSV – which is similar in nature to the common cold – in the “southern hemisphere,” and noted that, according to data accumulated thus far, the early results are “very promising.”
Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel had previously addressed the company’s attempts to create improved, multiple-disease vaccines, noting that they are essentially “franchises” that are continuously updated and evolved into success stories, comparing them to Apple’s iPhone.
“You don’t get the amazing camera, amazing everything the first time you get an iPhone, but you get a lot of things,” he said. “A lot of us buy a new iPhone every September, and you get new apps and you get refreshed apps. And that’s exactly the same idea, which is you’ll get COVID and flu and RSV in your single dose.”
The US government has provided Moderna with nearly $10 billion in taxpayer money for both research and development and for the purchase of 500 million doses of this mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.