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With $30 million in series A financing newly acquired from Morningside Ventures, Meissa Vaccines aims to develop the first vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for infants. RSV can cause potentially fatal lung infections in infants and elderly adults. 

In children younger than one year of age, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia. In children under five, RSV causes more than 30 million new acute lower respiratory infections, resulting in more than three million hospital admissions from serious infections around the world. Two thousand babies die from RSV per week worldwide, says Meissa CEO Martin Moore, who developed the vaccine from research he began while an associate professor at Emory University. 

Meissa, which is based in South San Francisco, will take the experimental vaccine into early-stage clinical trials in the first half of 2020, where research will determine if Meissa’s custom vaccine — which combines genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques — will offer durable protection against RSV for infants. 

Meissa press release

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