Moderna begins clinical trials of HIV vaccine


The pharmaceutical giant Moderna has begun clinical trials of a new HIV vaccine using mRNA technology.
On January 27, the scientific research organisation IAVI and the pharmaceutical company Moderna announced that they have teamed up to launch the first phase of clinical trials on experimental vaccines against HIV using mRNA technology.
The trial is designed to test the hypothesis that the sequential administering of HIV immunogens via messenger RNA can trigger specific types of responses from B cells, leading to the generation of broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs).
The generation of bNAbs is one of the objectives of vaccination against HIV, and this is the first step in the process. The immunogens that are being tested in the trials were developed by scientific teams from IAVI and Scripps Research and will be given via mRNA technology from Moderna.
The study will be carried out at four centres in the United States. The centres will enroll 56 HIV-negative adult volunteers, of whom 48 will receive one or two doses of mRNA-1644 and 32 will receive the mRNA-1644v2-Core booster. Another eight volunteers will only receive the booster immunogen.
The immune responses from the participants will be studied in molecular detail in order to evaluate whether the desired results were achieved. The safety of the participants will also be monitored for six months after the last vaccine is given.
“We believe that mRNA offers a unique opportunity to address critical unmet public health needs around the world,” said Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna.
The CEO of IAVI, Mark Feinberg, also 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”.
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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at

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