Moderna to use mRNA technology to develop HIV vaccines

The US biotech announces big plans to fight against some of the world’s most troubling viruses.

During a recent investor presentation, the American biotech Moderna disclosed efforts underway to develop vaccines for total of nine major viruses including HIV, influenza and the Zika virus. The company plans to use its mRNA technology to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges such as the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Moderna’s mRNA technology has already been dominating headlines, having been the basis for the development of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine which has already been rolled out to millions across the world. Being one of the leading vaccines in the fight against the pandemic, it was recently found to be 94% effective at preventing hospitalizations among people aged 65 and over in a real-world study.

Among its many big ambitions, Moderna is looking to commence three Phase 1 trials before the end of the year. These include two for its mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1574 HIV vaccine candidates as well as another for influenza called mRNA-1010. The mRNA-1644 candidate is being developed in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). The candidate is based on a novel approach to elicit broadly neutralizing HIV-1 antibodies (bNAbs) which researchers believe could offer protection against the HIV strains circulating around the world. In addition to Phase 1 RSV trial currently underway, Moderna also plans to begin a pivotal Phase 3 trial for its cytomegalovirus vaccine candidate this year.