First tests of an mRNA vaccine against AIDS in humans

Testing of an AIDS vaccine based on mRNA technology on humans has started in the USA.

the essentials in brief

  • Rapid development of corona vaccines using mRNA technology raises hopes.

In the so-called phase one, the vaccine was administered to 56 healthy, HIV-negative people, the US biotechnology company Moderna and the organization International AIDS Vaccine Initiative announced on Thursday.

Despite decades of research, scientists have not yet succeeded in developing an active ingredient against the disease that kills thousands of people every year. However, recent successes with mRNA technology, which has enabled vaccines against the coronavirus to be developed in record time – including by Moderna – have raised hope.

The vaccine being tested aims to stimulate the production of a specific type of antibody (bnAb) that acts against the very numerous variants of the HI virus that causes AIDS. “The production of bnAbs is widely recognized as a goal of vaccination against HIV, and it is a first step in this process,” the statement said.

Research has made great progress in the fight against the HI virus over the past few decades. While antiretroviral drugs allow those infected to lead a largely normal life, regular prep drugs offer very good protection against infection. However, there is still no effective vaccine. This would be particularly important for poorer countries with poor access to medicines.

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