Moderna Inc said on Friday it is developing three new vaccines based on the same technology used for its COVID-19 shot, including one for viral infection shingles.

The success of COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology from Moderna and rival Pfizer has prompted efforts to use the novel technology in other vaccines and therapeutics targeted at hard-to-treat diseases.

Pfizer is also developing an mRNA-based vaccine for shingles and expects to begin clinical trials in the second half of 2022.

If successful, both companies will compete with GlaxoSmithKline's two-dose vaccine Shingrix, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2017.

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Shingles typically develops in older adults who were infected with chicken pox, or the varicella-zoster virus, when younger. It is characterized by a painful rash that generally clears up within a month.

Moderna's shingles vaccine is being developed to target the varicella-zoster virus.

The company is also developing a cancer vaccine and a shot against the herpes simplex virus-2, which causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease.


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