The first human trials of an mRNA vaccine against AIDS

The United States has begun human trials of an AIDS vaccine based on mRNA technology.

The United States has begun human trials of an AIDS vaccine based on mRNA technology. The vaccine was administered to 56 healthy, HIV-negative people in phase one, according to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and US biotechnology company Moderna.

Despite decades of research, scientists have yet to develop a drug against the disease that kills thousands of people every year. Recent advances in mRNA technology that have enabled coronavirus vaccines to be developed in record time — including by Modern — give cause for optimism.

The vaccine under study aims to stimulate the production of a specific type of antibody (bnAb) that fights the many variants of the AIDS-causing HI virus. “BnAb production is widely recognized as a goal of HIV vaccination and is a first step in that process,” the statement said.

In recent decades, research has made significant advances in combating the HI virus. While antiretroviral drugs allow infected people to lead relatively normal lives, regular antiviral drugs offer excellent protection against infection. However, there is currently no effective vaccine. This is particularly important for developing countries that have limited access to medicines.

AFP

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