Pharmaceutical company Moderna and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced Thursday that they have begun clinical trials with a vaccine against HIV using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, the same technology it uses for its COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement, the company said that the first doses of this experimental product have begun to be administered in a Washington hospital as part of a phase 1 trial that will include 56 adults who do not have HIV.
The vaccine seeks to stimulate the production of antibodies capable of acting against different variants of HIV in circulation with a first dose and a booster dose through mRNA.
“The search for an HIV vaccine has been long and difficult and having new tools in terms of immunogens and platforms may be the key to making rapid progress”, the president of IAVI highlighted in the note.
Moderna President Stephen Hoge opined that mRNA offers a “unique opportunity” to respond to different health needs around the world and considered that advancing in this program against HIV is a very important step.
In the project, in which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also participates, patients will be followed for at least six months and their immune responses will be analyzed at the molecular level to assess the responses achieved.
Moderna is working on more than two dozen programs with mRNA technology, including possible vaccines for the flu or the Nipah virus, among others.
Until now, its vaccine against COVID-19 is the only one approved of all those made by the company.