In the most recent meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel admitted that he would "like to have mRNA capacity on every continent."
"The mRNA technology rollout is so concerning," said Tracy Beanz, news and editorial contributor for The HighWire. "They'd never tested this on humans before March of 2020, and now they're pushing this lipid nanoparticle into the arms of every citizen on the planet." (Related: GREED PARADE: Moderna plans to sell COVID-19 vaccine for up to $130 per dose – more than 8 times its initial price of $15.25 per dose.)
"And they're not looking to stop with just the [Wuhan coronavirus] COVID vaccines," continued Beanz. "They're expanding." She warned that Moderna is planning to release mRNA-based vaccines for other common health conditions like MERS, SARS, Marburg virus disease and the Zika fever.
Moderna is also developing mRNA-based vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and an aggressive type of skin cancer.
The Big Pharma company's RSV vaccine is already in phase 3 of trial testing, with data released by the company claiming it is 83.7 percent effective at preventing moderate cases of the disease, which is defined as a bout of RSV with two or more symptoms. The company further claimed that the vaccine candidate is 82.4 percent effective at dealing with a severe case of RSV, defined by having three or more symptoms.
Moderna hopes to get the Food and Drug Administration to approve of the company's RSV vaccine by the end of the year.
The company's skin cancer mRNA vaccine, which it is developing with Merck, is allegedly showing promise in its phase 2 trial.
Data released by the company claimed that the mRNA vaccine, when used in combination with an immunotherapy drug called Keytruda sold by Merck, reduced the risk of death or recurrence of melanoma in high-risk patients by 44 percent compared with treatment using only Keytruda.
The phase 2 trial enrolled 157 participants. Due to its so-called early successes, Bancel is preparing to move Moderna toward holding larger phase 3 trials. These trials will involve the company testing the vaccine and immunotherapy drug combination with other kinds of cancer, with Bancel claiming that it "should work in many tumor types, not only melanoma."
Further development of mRNA vaccines has also spurred the company to continue growing. Moderna recently announced that it will look to hire roughly 2,000 new employees this year, bringing the company's total headcount to around 6,000 before 2024.
With the backing of governments worldwide and the company's planned hiring spree, Moderna will likely accelerate its development of experimental mRNA vaccines in the coming years and eventually dominate the market.
Learn more about the latest activities of Big Pharma companies like Moderna at BigPharmaNews.com.
Watch this clip from "The HighWire" as host Del Bigtree and news and editorial contributor Tracy Beanz discuss Moderna's future plans for mRNA vaccine technology.