Moderna Inc. said Tuesday it’s working to develop its first bacterial vaccine to protect against Lyme disease, the tick-borne illness that causes a range of painful symptoms, including fever, headaches, fatigue, joint pain and rash. The biotech
whose first product to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was its mRNA-based COVID vaccine, said it has two candidates in development to address Lyme disease, named mRNA-1982 and mRNA-1975.
It announced the news at its fourth Vaccine Day, where it offered a full update on its clinical pipeline, which includes vaccines to protect against flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, as well as HIV, Epstein-Barr virus and herpes simplex virus, among others. There are about 120,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. and Europe every year, creating a “significant quality of life burden,” the company said in a statement. Rising temperatures are helping the disease spread more easily, and it is difficult to diagnose, because the symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases. It most seriously affects children below the age of 15 and older adults. “Older adults appear to have higher odds of unfavorable treatment response as compared with younger patients, and neurologic manifestations are more common at presentation for this older adult popu …