Pfizer and BioNTech working on shingles mRNA vaccine

US laboratories Pfizer and German BioNTech on Wednesday announced a new collaboration to develop a vaccine based on messenger RNA (mRNA) against shingles.

Tomorrow an ally against Kovid, today an ally against herpes. The agreement between US laboratories Pfizer and German BioNTech, related to the “research, development and commercialization” of the vaccine, points to a press release from the two companies that specifies that “clinical trials will begin in the second half of 2022″. must begin.”.

“Adults over the age of 50, as well as vulnerable populations, such as cancer patients, are at risk for shingles. Our goal is to develop an mRNA vaccine with a favorable safety profile and high efficacy,” in the press release. Quoted BioNTech President Ugur Sahin explained.

Shingles is a manifestation of reactivation of the chickenpox virus, most often in adults over the age of 50. After chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in human nerve cells and may reactivate later in life due to a triggering factor such as stress or immunosuppression. Usually mild, this localized infection can cause the appearance of painful plaques.

Although there are currently approved vaccines against shingles, both laboratories believe that a better, more effective and better tolerated vaccine could be developed using mRNA technology.

From Influenza to Covid

The collaboration between the US pharmaceutical giant and the German biotech began in 2018 with a flu vaccine project, which is still a work in progress.

This program was suppressed in 2020 by the appearance of the new coronavirus, which led both companies to develop the first approved messenger RNA vaccine against COVID-19 in record time.

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The innovative messenger RNA technology has not yet been applied to viruses other than COVID-19, but is considered promising in the fight against several diseases. Several projects are under development for vaccines based on messenger RNA against influenza or HIV.

The BioNTech laboratory, a leader in research on this technology, is working on vaccines against a number of diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria and some cancers.

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