Moderna is poised to begin a trial of an mRNA-based vaccine for HIV, Gizmodo reports. It adds that new trial registration data indicates the company is starting a small phase I clinical trial of its HIV vaccine, dubbed mRNA-1644, in 56 people.
Popular Science notes that HIV has been a particularly difficult virus for vaccine developers because of how quickly it integrates into the human genome. To prevent infection, it says that a high level of antibodies must be present at exposure. Gizmodo writes that Moderna is hoping that its mRNA-based approach in combination with a new way of eliciting antibodies will be effective.
Following successes with mRNA-based vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, Moderna, BioNTech, and others are moving ahead with work on vaccines for other diseases, including the flu, malaria, tuberculosis, and cancer.
"We've had an incredible year using messenger RNA to fight a pandemic," Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, told CBS Sunday Morning in June. "But we think we're just starting in the infectious disease space. And so, there's a large number of other vaccines we're bringing forward."