Moderna has regained all rights to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine (mRNA-1172) from Merck, including rights to develop RSV vaccines for adult populations.
mRNA-1172, which uses a Merck lipid nanoparticle for delivery, entered Phase 1 development in 2019.
As per the agreement, Merck will complete the Phase 1 study and transition the program to Moderna.
Moderna has now consolidated all global commercial rights to all development candidates in its core prophylactic vaccines modality.
Among its RSV candidates, Merck decided to focus its efforts on RSV infections through its antibody program that is currently in Phase 2 development.
Separately, Moderna also announced the initiation of dosing in the Phase 1 study of its solely owned RSV vaccine candidate (mRNA-1345).
This Phase 1 study includes initial dosing in adults, followed by age de-escalation into children. T
The company previously announced its intent to advance mRNA-1345 in children in combination with mRNA-1653, a vaccine against two other pediatric respiratory viruses (hMPV, PIV3) which is currently in its own age de-escalation study.
With this announcement, Moderna will have the right to also advance RSV vaccines in adults, either alone or in combination with other respiratory virus vaccines.
Moderna’s mRNA-1345 vaccine uses its proprietary lipid nanoparticle delivery technology also used in the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) and CMV vaccine (mRNA-1647).
Moderna and Merck will continue their ongoing collaboration in cancer vaccines, originally announced in 2016.