Aug 19, 2021 - Health

Moderna to start first human trials of mRNA HIV vaccine

Illustration of a hand holding up a syringe that reads "Moderna" on the side

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Moderna is set to start human trials for its experimental mRNA HIV vaccine as early as Thursday, the first time such a trial has ever been conducted.

The big picture: "There's a pressing need for new ways to prevent infection from viruses like HIV and influenza that conventional vaccines have struggled to address and to treat rare genetic diseases and cancers that kill millions each year," Axios' Alison Snyder writes. "Vaccines and therapies based on messenger RNA (mRNA) hold promise as a solution."

Details: To participate in the trial, participants have to be between the ages of 18 and 50 and not diagnosed with HIV. Moderna says it is looking for 56 participants.

What they're saying: "Even as we have shown that our mRNA-based vaccine can prevent Covid-19, this has encouraged us to pursue more-ambitious development programs within our prophylactic vaccines modality," said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in January, when the company announced the vaccine, per Clinical Trials Arena.

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