Human Trials To Start With 56 participants.
The Moderna HIV vaccine is set to enter human trials as early as next week, marking a monumental step in the treatment of one of the most devastating health crises worldwide.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s clinical trials registry, the biotech company is prepping to test its mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1644v2-Core vaccines after both passed phase one testing earlier this year. The study will divide its 56 participants, all of which have not previously tested positive for HIV, into four groups that will be administered both or either vaccine in various combinations.
Building the vaccine from an mRNA foundation differs from previous vaccine constructions and functionality, essentially providing instructions for cells to build immune responses through specific protein production. This process teaches the body how to defend itself on the cellular level rather than having human immune systems learn through combatting weakened forms of a virus.
Earlier this year on Towleroad: HIV vaccine:
Moderna HIV Vaccine Benefits From Covid mRNA Experience
mRNA vaccines also respond better to variants of a virus – a fact that is vital and addressing HIV mutations that have emerged since the virus surfaced 40 years ago. “The mRNA platform makes it easy to develop vaccines against variants because it just requires an update to the coding sequences in the mRNA that code for the variant,” Dr. Rajesh Ghandi, HIV Medicine Association chair, told Verywell.
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, which is built of an mRNA base, has been a success in showing the aptitude of mRNA vaccines in building up immuno-response to the base strain of Covid-19 and its more dangerous variants.
The trial is estimated to start on Aug. 19, 2021, though the timetable could alter depending on response to Moderna’s call for volunteers, though it is expected to begin before the end of the year. It is scheduled to wrap and deliver findings by May 1, 2023.
2021 has been a landmark year in the development of HIV vaccines. As Moderna prepares its human trials in the U.S., the University of Oxford launched trials of its HIVconsvX vaccine in Europe and multiple African nations, including Kenya and Tanzania, are testing the HIVconsvX vaccine as well.
Moderna HIV: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Tony Webster/Creative Commons