Experts say that early success of mRNA vaccines could open the floodgates of mRNA applications, especially in managing infectious diseases.
mRNA vaccines are poised to make great strides in vaccine development, which could change the way vaccines are approached. Researchers are now focusing on thermostable mRNA vaccines to overcome one of the major hassles — maintaining ultracold temperatures. Chinese scientists have developed a lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated mRNA (mRNA-LNP) vaccine candidate in a liquid formulation that can be kept at room temperature for a week.
Currently, mRNA vaccines are administered in two doses. Efforts are underway to develop more potent single-shot vaccines.
If the mRNA vaccines prove to be successful, they could be used for both emerging and established pathogens. Already, researchers are working on candidates for genital herpes and HIV. Influenza viruses also make excellent candidates for a rapid “vaccine on demand platform” since they acquire variations from season to season.
Efforts are afoot to produce multi-antigen mRNA vaccines to simultaneously target multiple pathogens in a single shot helping cut down the number and frequency of vaccinations.