Moderna Starts Phase1 Clinical Trial of First-ever HIV Vaccine in Africa

HIV Vaccine

The nonprofit scientific research organization IAVI and Moderna Inc. is a biotechnology company that launches mRNA HIV vaccines. Recently, they announced that they start a Phase 1 clinical trial of mRNA HIV vaccine antigen mRNA-1644 at the Family Health Research center in Kigali, Rwanda, and The Aurum Institute in Tembisa, South Africa. According to the CDC, About 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV at the end of 2019. The World Health Organization says 37.7 million people in the world had HIV in 2020.

The first vaccines were distributed Thursday at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. Phase I trials will be starting at the Hope Clinic of Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta. Also the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

The working method of the vaccine…

The vaccine is designed to work with white blood cells to turn into antibodies that can neutralize HIV. A booster shot is also being studied to work with the HIV vaccine. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has managed to dodge the immune system for long decades. Scientists have made advancements in treatments, such as long-acting injectables for pre-and post-exposure prevention and treatment. HIV can develop into AIDS, which can be dangerous.  The immunogens antigens were developed by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Scripps Research.

They will be delivered using the same messenger RNA or mRNA technology in Moderna’s successful COVID-19 vaccine. On May 18, Moderna and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative announced the first clinical trial in Africa for a candidate HIV vaccine.

I think this is a revolutionary approach to HIV vaccine design and development, and I am hopeful that we are on the path to finally realize an HIV vaccine,” said Etienne Karita, MD, MSc, MSPH, the director of CFHR. 

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