Experimental HIV vaccineDate: 31 January 2022 Tags: Biotechnology
Vaccine giant Moderna is developing a vaccine that can neutralise using HIV-1 antibodies (bNAbs) and eventually target multiple HIV strains.
Since the discovery of HIV 40 years ago, medications for disease have been elusive.
The mRNA vaccine is under trials and the first dose of the vaccine was administered recently in Washington DC.
The technology used in the vaccine is same as that of the Covid-19 vaccine. It uses mRNA to teach the body’s cells how to make proteins that trigger immune response.
Non-profit foundation International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Scripps Research were involved in developing immunogens, which were delivered by mechanism of Moderna.
The broadly neutralising HIV-1 antibodies (bNAbs) are rare and produced by certain B cells. The vaccine will stimulate B cells to produce bNAbs to act against many variants of HIV.
It is the first-in-human, open label study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the HIV vaccines.
They will test efficacy of vaccines mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1644v2-Core in HIV-infected individuals.
Previous studies of bNAbs
Previous studies of HIV vaccines have shown that antibodies produced were either ineffective or partially effective. The bNAbs are more potent than reactive antibodies.
Initial studies have shown that the bNAbs can overcome genetic variability of HIV by targeting the regions of the envelope protein, which is known as ‘glycan shield’.
According to WHO, about 36.3 million people have lost their lives so far to the disease. In India, around 2.1 million people suffer.
Eventhough it does not have a cure, it has become a manageable chronic disease with better access to effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment.