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Moderna tackles respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

@REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Last Tuesday, the American company presented the good results of its clinical trials of its messenger RNA vaccine against RSV. The active substance of this vaccine would be manufactured in Boston and in Visp, in Valais!

The race for new vaccines continues to accelerate. With its announcement last week, the American biotech unveils convincing efficacy results (84%) in people over 60 years old of its mRNA vaccine against RSV.  Out of 64 cases of patients with the virus, presenting two or more symptoms, 55 were in the placebo group against 9 in the vaccine group.

What is RSV?

With a mortality similar to influenza in the elderly or at risk, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is known to cause bronchiolitis in babies during the winter epidemic. It also aggravates pre-existing diseases such as asthma and creates complications such as pneumonia.
There are about 5.2 million cases each year among people aged 60 and over in developed countries, causing 500,000 hospitalizations annually. Dr. Paul Burton, medical director of Moderna, tells AFP: "This disease has a heavy toll that has been underestimated," he continues.

The number of doses potentially needed has yet to be determined. 

The Visp factory: one of the assets for the production of this vaccine

The vaccine would be manufactured in Boston and in Visp, in the canton of Valais, where our two factories that produce the active ingredients of Moderna's vaccines are located. 

The raw materials used in the production of messenger RNA vaccines are identical, regardless of the vaccine. "We can therefore ramp up very quickly and order enough," explains Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in an interview with Le Temps newspaper (17 January 2023).

The market launch is planned for the winter of 2023/24.

Sources: Le Temps / France 24

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