On Thursday, January 27, pharmaceutical giant Moderna announced that it had officially started Phase 1 of its HIV vaccine trial. The company developed the shot in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), with the first doses being administered at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC.
The HIV vaccine uses mRNA technology, which is also used in the highly successful Moderna Covid-19 shot. Through this method, the body creates proteins that help to trigger an immune response, thus fighting off the virus.
Phase 1 of the clinical trial aims to build on the response seen in the proof-of-concept trial, enrolling 56 HIV-negative volunteer adult participants. Patients will be monitored for six months after receiving their dose, with their immune responses being examined in order to evaluate whether or not the targeted responses have been achieved.
ANNOUNCEMENT ?: We are proud to announce that the first participant has been dosed in the Phase 1 study of mRNA-1644, our experimental #HIV #mRNA #vaccine candidate. Learn more about this exciting venture with @IAVI: https://t.co/apeIJpPbxz pic.twitter.com/1fON4j9hP7
— Moderna (@moderna_tx) January 27, 2022
Speaking on the launch of Phase 1, President and CEO of IAVI, Mark Feinberg MD, PhD, said: “We are tremendously excited to be advancing this new direction in HIV vaccine design with Moderna’s mRNA platform.
“The search for an HIV vaccine has been long and challenging, and having new tools in terms of immunogens and platforms could be the key to making rapid progress toward an urgently needed, effective HIV vaccine.”
President of Moderna, Stephen Hoge MD, added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with IAVI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to apply our mRNA technology in the setting of HIV.
“At Moderna, we believe that mRNA offers a unique opportunity to address critical unmet public health needs around the world. We believe advancing this HIV vaccine programme in partnership with IAVI and Scripps Research is an important step in our mission to deliver on the potential for mRNA to improve human health.”
Man, really seeing a HIV vaccine in our lifetimes. How cool is that?
— Uhhhh………. (@TheMSeries1) January 28, 2022
It has been 40 years since the emergence of HIV and AIDS, and yet there is still no successful vaccine. Despite that, thanks to advances in technology, HIV is no longer a death sentence, and people can live full and healthy lives with the virus, while on suitable medication.
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