Human Trials of HIV Vaccine Could Start As Early As Tomorrow

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The Moderna HIV vaccine is modelled on the same technology as their COVID vaccination.

American pharmaceutical company Moderna will begin human trials of a new mRNA (Messenger RNA) HIV vaccine this week.

The vaccine is a collaboration between Moderna, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Clinical Trials Arena reports.

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In initial trials, Moderna will enrol 56 healthy adults who are HIV negative to test the vaccine’s safety monitoring for basic immune response.

The vaccine is based on the same mRNA platform as Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, which has proved extremely effective in providing immunisation from Covid-19.

Along with Pfizer, Moderna is one of only two mRNA vaccines to be authorised anywhere in the world.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel says the success of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine has enabled the company to explore how a similar vaccine could be used to provide immunisation from HIV.

“The uniquely challenging year of 2020 for all of society proved to be an extraordinary proof-of-concept period for Moderna,” Bancel said earlier this year.

“Even as we have shown that our mRNA-based vaccine can prevent Covid-19, this has encouraged us to pursue more-ambitious development programs within our prophylactic vaccines modality. Today we are announcing three new vaccine programs addressing seasonal flu, HIV and the Nipah virus, some of which have eluded traditional vaccine efforts, and all of which we believe can be addressed with our mRNA technology.”

The American pharmaceutical company will also be trialling another version of the candidate called mRNA-1644v2-Core.

Moderna’s mRNA vaccine will be the first to be trialled in humans which along with mRNA-1644v2-Core has been tested on “non-human subjects” first.

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