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Moderna’s human trials hopes to justify huge investment

By on September 15, 2017

The experimental drug developed by Moderna Technologies is the result of a $5bn investment

Pharma groups such as Merck and AstraZeneca have contributed to the development of the drug with over $1bn, with the goal of creating a body that can generate its own medicines, depending on the needs.

The project aims to insert artificial messenger RNA (mRNA) compounds into the body that can afterwards produce proteins in order to cure illnesses.

After the phase 1 of the study, it has been observed that the protein named VEGF is able to boost the formation of new blood vessels in 44 patients. The phase 1 trial was led by AstraZeneca and it represents the first human trial of this kind, aiming to especially help people affected by cardiovascular diseases. The next trial will test the therapeutic effect of the drug on coronary surgery patients.

Moreover, Moderna suggested that its efforts could prove useful for developing new vaccines, as well as further discover new drugs. The company has recently started a trial for cancer immunotherapy, a vaccine for Chikungunya, as well as a mRNA treatment for a rare liver illness.

Such plans made critics state that the funds allocated for the research are exaggerated. Despite voices saying that the investments are too high, Moderna claims that the approach is the correct one, despite abandoning an advanced Zika vaccine programme in the middle of its development and started working on a new project on the microcephaly-causing disease.

In order to combat the critics, Moderna’s representatives declared that 6 new papers explaining the insights of its projects will be published in academic journals in the next 12 months. Soon after that, the company will also go public with the detailed costs of its research.

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About Laura Parvan

Medical professional, blogging passionate, with a high interest in social media impact on health-care information.