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Checkpoint Cancer mRNA Vaccine Candidate Announced

February 18, 2022 • 1:47 pm CST
(Vax Before Cancer)

Cambridge-based Moderna, Inc. today announced that it is expanding its mRNA vaccine pipeline. One of the new vaccines is a checkpoint cancer vaccine candidate, mRNA-4359.

Moderna's mRNA-4359 expresses Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and programmed death-ligand 1 antigens.

Moderna designed mRNA-4359 to stimulate effector T-cells that target and kill suppressive immune and tumor cells that express target antigens. Moderna plans to explore initial indications for advanced or metastatic cutaneous melanoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).

NSCLC frequently goes undetected, remaining asymptomatic until it has progressed to later stages.

Approximately 115,000 people are diagnosed with metastatic NSCLC or progress to the metastatic disease annually, according to the U.S. CDC.

"We are pleased to announce these new development programs, which reflect the continued productivity of our platform and the potential of our mRNA technology to impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people," said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, in a media statement issued on Feb. 18, 2022.

In 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across six modalities, a broad intellectual property portfolio in areas including mRNA and lipid nanoparticle formulation, and an integrated manufacturing plant that allows for both clinical and commercial production.