Moderna says its combination flu and COVID-19 vaccine proved effective in an advanced trial. It could be ready in 2025

The pharmaceutical company Moderna reported this Monday that its combined flu and coronavirus vaccine generated a more powerful immune response in adults over 50 years of age in its late-phase trial compared to the individual vaccines.

In the study, the combination with messenger RNA technology generated more antibodies than traditional flu vaccines currently on the market and than Moderna's Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine, according to the pharmaceutical company.

According to the company, the vaccine, called mRNA-1083, generated a greater immune response against two strains A and one strain B of influenza in older adults compared to the widely used flu vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March recommended drugmakers focus on those three strains, called H1N1, H3N2 and B/Victoria, when developing their seasonal flu vaccines for 2024-25. .

The latest data comes from two arms of a larger study involving about 8,000 people: one tested the combination against GSK's Fluarix in adults ages 50 to 64, and another against Sanofi's Fluzone HD. in people 65 years or older. Fluzone is a high-dose vaccine for older people.

Moderna President Stephen Hoge hopes to launch the combination vaccine for the fall respiratory disease season of 2025. “If not in 2025, then in 2026,” he said.

The company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has opted for new vaccines to offset the decline in demand and sales of its COVID-19 vaccine.

If approved, this combination vaccine would be Moderna's third product, after having received FDA validation last month for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine.

Moderna also said the combination vaccine was safe and tolerable in the latest study, and that rates of adverse side effects were similar to the other vaccines in the trial.

The most frequent were pain at the injection site, fatigue, muscle pain and headache. The company said it hopes to publish the full results of the study at an upcoming conference.