Moderna close to U.S. deal to make vaccines for Ebola, biological threats – Bloomberg News

Oct 26 (Reuters) – Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) is nearing a deal with the U.S. government to develop vaccines against a range of biological threats including Ebola, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The potential deal with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) would see Moderna’s mRNA technology being used to develop a vaccine targeting the Ebola strain responsible for the disease’s outbreak in Uganda, the report said.

Uganda declared the Ebola outbreak in September, and the disease has claimed 30 lives so far with the number of confirmed cases rising to 109.

Moderna’s shot would also target the more common Zaire strain of Ebola and the related Marburg virus, the report added.

The drugmaker declined to comment about any potential contract, but said it “continued to explore potential Ebola vaccines” and that it currently has a preclinical program for Ebola.

“While the Department (of Defense) cannot discuss future awards, DoD has strategic investments focused on technologies that address the dynamic and evolving biological threat landscape, including mRNA vaccine technologies and Filoviruses,” a DoD spokesperson said, when asked for comment on the report.

The Bloomberg report said it was unlikely that Moderna’s candidate would be ready to use in time to address the burst of cases in Uganda.

Reporting by Raghav Mahobe and Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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Source: Reuters