Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Moderna Closer to Developing Vaccine for Birth Defect-Causing Infection

By Mark Prvulovic - Mar 3, 2020 at 7:02PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The company is moving ahead with a crucial phase 2 trial to treat cytomegalovirus.

Moderna (MRNA 0.22%) announced after the closing bell on Tuesday that it had finished enrollment for a mid-stage clinical study concerning one of its mRNA-based vaccines. The treatment in question, mRNA-1647, seeks to treat cytomegalovirus (CMV), a major cause of birth defects in newborn babies when transmitted via a pregnant mother.

The phase 2 trial for mRNA-1647 will test 252 healthy adults affected with CMV. While the symptoms of the virus are relatively mild (fever, sore throat, and weight loss, although in many cases there are no noticeable symptoms), pregnant women with CMV are at risk of spreading the infection on to their babies. There's a significant risk that newborns infected with CMV in this way will be born with a disability.

Closeup picture of multiple cytomegalovirus cells floating around.

Image source: Getty Images.

The full results of this new phase 2 trial are expected sometime in Q3 2020. Should the data prove to be positive, the biotech company expects it could enter a phase 3 trial for the vaccine in early 2021.

Further details

mRNA-based vaccines are still experimental at this stage, with Moderna's treatments being the first mRNA treatments to move to clinical testing with humans. In theory, mRNA-based treatments can be more effective than their DNA-based counterparts, given that mRNA is found throughout the cell while DNA is stored only in the nucleus, which is harder to access.

Moderna is also developing an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Results from early stage clinical trials are expected to be available sometime this summer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
$142.50 (0.22%) $0.31

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/29/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.