Moderna is developing vaccines against the herpes virus, and chickenpox

image of the Moderna headquarters entrance in America. image: moderna

Vaccines against the herpes virus, and chickenpox, are being developed by US biotech company Moderna

US biotech company Moderna disclosed this Friday, February 18, that it is developing vaccines against the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and also to combat varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox.

Another treatment the company is working on is based on messenger RNA technology (mRNA), which is used in its Covid-19 vaccine. This will be an application designed to control two types of cancer.

In a recent statement, the company announced that it had begun developing a vaccine against HIV; another against the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and another against the cytomegalovirus (CMV), in all cases, latent viruses that remain in the body after infection.

“We are committed to addressing latent viruses with the goal of avoiding lifelong medical illnesses with our mRNA vaccine programs”, said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, adding that more lines could soon be added to the current five.

At the moment, Moderna only has the Covid vaccine approved, but Mr Bancel explained that the serum currently under study for the herpes simplex virus is aimed at the HSV-2 type, which mainly infects the genitals. Their idea is that it offers cross-protection against the HSV-1 type, which affects the mouth, face and genitals.

Regarding the product for VZV, Moderna maintain that it is designed to express glycoprotein E of this virus to “reduce the rate of herpes” with a focus on the adult population. People aged over 50 years of age are more susceptible to catching herpes zoster because their immunity declines and reactivates.

As for the “control” vaccine for cancer, the company said that its trial seeks to stimulate T-cells – lymphocytes that eliminate tumour cells – and that it would have applications for two types, advanced or metastatic cutaneous melanoma, and non-small cell lung carcinoma, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]