Next generation NU-mRNA vaccine project to target congenital cytomegalovirus

A team led by Nagoya University researchers from the Graduate School of Medicine is to begin a program of research aimed at developing a next generation mRNA vaccine. The project will form part of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) Vaccine and New Modality Development Program, from which it will receive its funding.


The team will develop the vaccine using NU-mRNA technology, which is safer, more effective, and requires lower doses than current mRNA vaccines. Their target is the cytomegalovirus, a herpesvirus which can cause congenital health problems such as deafness and developmental difficulties in infants. As with other herpesviruses, it is found in the majority of people, 60-100% of the population depending on the region. Up to 5 in every 1000 newborn babies are congenitally infected with cytomegalovirus, making it the most common infectious cause of deafness, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities in children. It is also dangerous for adults whose immunity has been compromised by transplants or burns. With these factors in mind, the development of a safe and effective vaccine will result in a significant positive health outcome worldwide.