Experts have promised a groundbreaking set of new vaccines for a range of conditions including cancer.
A leading pharmaceutical firm said it is confident that vaccines for cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and other conditions will be ready by 2030.
Studies into these vaccinations are also showing “tremendous promise”, with some researchers saying 15 years’ worth of progress has been “unspooled” in 12 to 18 months thanks to the success of the Covid jab.
Dr Paul Burton, the chief medical officer of pharmaceutical company Moderna, said he believes the firm will be able to offer such treatments for “all sorts of disease areas” in as little as five years.
The firm, which created a leading coronavirus vaccine, is developing cancer vaccines that target different tumour types.
Burton said: “We will have that vaccine and it will be highly effective, and it will save many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. I think we will be able to offer personalised cancer vaccines against multiple different tumour types to people around the world.”
He also said that multiple respiratory infections could be covered by a single injection – allowing vulnerable people to be protected against Covid, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – while mRNA therapies could be available for rare diseases for which there are currently no drugs. Therapies based on mRNA work by teaching cells how to make a protein that triggers the body’s immune response against disease.
Burton said :“I think we will have mRNA-based therapies for rare diseases that were previously undruggable, and I think that 10 years from now, we will be approaching a world where you truly can identify the genetic cause of a disease and, with relative simplicity, go and edit that out and repair it using mRNA-based technology.”