The annual Global Impact Conference 2022 brings together visionary business leaders to revolutionize educational systems and inspire collaborative actionRead more APO Group announces content partnership with Pan-African broadcaster VoxAfricaRead more MainOne, an Equinix Company’s MDXi Appolonia Achieves Tier III Constructed Facility certification (TCCF), Now Most Certified Data Center in GhanaRead more United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warns rising tide of hunger, insecurity, and underfunding worsening gender-based violence risksRead more The Royal Thai Embassy presents the cultures of Thailand at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Festival in KenyaRead more Climate change is the biggest global threat, young people in Africa and Europe tell European Investment Bank (EIB), Debating Africa and Debating EuropeRead more $2 million in prizes awarded at Conference of the Parties (COP27) to African youth-led businessesRead more Africa and Europe’s top business and public sector leaders gather to chart Africa’s economic rebirthRead more The Thai delegation’s active participation at the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in KigaliRead more Canon shares winning image of its Redline Challenge competition 2022Read more

Tests of HIV vaccine using mRNA technology have begun

show caption
Hopes of an HIV vaccine have been stirred with the success of mRNA technology, which allowed for the development of Covid-19 vaccines in record time, including one from Moderna./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 28, 2022 - 05:41 AM

WASHINGTON — Testing in humans of an HIV vaccine that uses messenger RNA technology has begun, the biotech firm Moderna and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative said Thursday.

This Phase 1 trial is being carried out in the United States among 56 healthy adults who are HIV negative.

Despite four decades of research, doctors have yet to develop a vaccine to protect people from the virus that causes AIDS, which kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year.

But hopes have been stirred with the success of mRNA technology, which allowed for the development of Covid-19 vaccines in record time, including one from Moderna.

The goal of the vaccine now being tested is to stimulate production of a kind of antibody called “broadly neutralizing antibodies,” or bnAbs, which can act against the many variants of HIV that are circulating today.

The vaccine is supposed to teach B lymphocytes, which are part of the immune system, to generate these antibodies.

In this trial, participants are injected with an immunogen — a substance that can trigger an immune response — and then a booster immunogen later.

These substances will be delivered with mRNA technology.

“The induction of bnAbs is widely considered to be a goal of HIV vaccination, and this is the first step in that process,” Moderna and the IAVI, a research organization, said in a statement.

“Further immunogens will be needed to guide the immune system on this path, but this prime-boost combination could be the first key element of an eventual HIV immunization regimen,” said David Diemert, a lead investigator at one of the four sites where the trial is being carried out, George Washington University in the US capital.

The immunogens used in this trial were developed by IAVI and the Scripps Research Institute, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Moderna.

A first trial last year tested the first immunogen but without employing mRNA technology. It showed that the desired immune response was triggered in dozens of people taking part in the research.

The next step was to bring in Moderna with its new mRNA technique.

“Given the speed with which mRNA vaccines can be produced, this platform offers a more nimble and responsive approach to vaccine design and testing,” the Moderna-IAVI statement said.

“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,” said Mark Feinberg, the CEO of IAVI.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.