Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines hold a lot of promise for a COVID-19 vaccine with their potent and fast producing properties. While mRNA vaccines still raises many unanswered questions on effectiveness, duration of immunity, and possible side effects, if properly produced, the versatility of mRNA vaccines would allow scientists to produce vaccines faster and allow for vaccine candidates to adapt to varying strains that viruses mutate. Along with a COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA vaccines could possibly lead to a “universal” vaccine to combat future pandemics. Currently, the two biggest players in the mRNA vaccine market are Moderna and CureVac AG. On May 7, Moderna advanced its COVID-19 candidate, mRNA-1273, into phase II of clinical trials, which suggests that the company may be on its way to licensing the first mRNA vaccine for human use. On May 14, CureVac announced positive pre-clinical results with their lead mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidate and has made plans to initiate phase I and II clinical trials in June.
A less-known yet still promising player, Arcturus Therapeutics, who was acquired by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical recently, also announced on May 8 their positive preclinical data with their LUNAR-COV19 vaccine, which uses their patented mRNA delivery system LUNAR (US Patent No. 9951002).
Below is a Magic Number Radian diagram highlighting the patent documents assigned to Moderna, CureVac, and Arcturus regarding the delivery and production of mRNA vaccines. Note the domination of Moderna and CureVac with Arcturus Therapeutics trailing behind. Explore the free pandemic/epidemics sector through Magic Number’s Pandemic Patent Forecast®.