September 30, 2022

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Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS

Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS



Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS.

AIDS (AIDS) , the full name is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is avery harmful infectious disease causedby the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) .

The HIV virus can attack and severely destroy the human immune system.

Therefore, AIDS patients often suffer from secondary infections or tumors due to insufficient immunity, which also makes the mortality rate of AIDS patients extremely high.

According to UNAIDS data, the global number of HIV carriers and AIDS patients from the end of the year 20,133,430 at the end of 2018 million to 38 million people, and the number is still growing rapidly.

As a genetic disease caused by viral infection, the development of highly effective preventive vaccines is the most important weapon for the prevention and control of AIDS .

However, so far, many AIDS vaccine developments have hardly been successful. For example, in 2020, the AIDS vaccine jointly developed by Sanofi and GSK announced a failure.

This vaccine was once considered the most promising AIDS vaccine and was Fierce Pharma ranked first in the world’s top ten clinical trial failure cases in 2020.

Since the global pandemic of the COVID-19 epidemic, mRNA vaccines have shown great strength. For AIDS, will mRNA vaccines be successful?

On December 9, 2021, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Moderna Corporation jointly published the title: A multiclade env-gag VLP mRNA vaccine elicits tier-2 HIV- in the top international medical journal Nature Medicine.

1-neutralizing antibodies and reduces the risk of heterologous SHIV infection in macaques .

This experimental mRNA AIDS vaccine, which uses the same platform technology as the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, has shown strong prospects in mice and non-human primates.

The vaccine is not only safe, but also can elicit the antibodies and cellular immune responses required to target HIV-like viruses .

Compared with the unvaccinated rhesus monkeys, the rhesus monkeys that received the experimental vaccine and boosted the vaccine had a 79% lower risk of infection after being exposed to the HIV-related monkey immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) .

Regarding the results of this study, Dr. Anthony Fauci , Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) , said that the global scientific community has worked hard for nearly 40 years, but still has not been able to develop an effective AIDS prevention vaccine.

This experimental mRNA vaccine combines several features that can overcome the shortcomings of other AIDS vaccines, and therefore represents a promising direction .

Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS

This experimental mRNA AIDS vaccine works similarly to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

It uses the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine technology platform to replace the mRNA encoding the COVID-19 spike protein with the mRNA encoding the two key HIV proteins Env and Gag .

After intramuscular injection, the mRNA encoding these two proteins will assemble to produce virus-like particles (VLP) , indicating that a large amount of envelope protein Env is distributed .

Due to the lack of a complete viral genome, this virus-like particle will not cause infection and spread, but it is the same as a complete, infectious HIV virus in terms of stimulating the immune response.

Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS

In experiments on mice, virus-like particles (VLP) formed by two injections of the experimental mRNA vaccine can induce the production of neutralizing antibodies.

The HIV envelope protein Env produced by mRNA in mice is very similar to that of the complete HIV virus, which is an improvement over previous experimental AIDS vaccines.

There are multiple HIV envelope proteins distributed on each VLP, which can simulate the natural infection of HIV and trigger an immune response.

The research team subsequently conducted a vaccination test in rhesus monkeys and carried out multiple booster vaccination in the following year.

The booster vaccination contained Gag mRNA and Env mRNA from different HIV mutant strains .

Although the dose of mRNA injected in the experiment was very high, the vaccine was well tolerated and only produced mild temporary side effects in monkeys, such as loss of appetite.

By week 58, all the vaccinated monkeys had produced measurable neutralizing antibodies that were able to target most of the 12 different HIV mutant strains .

In addition to neutralizing antibodies, the mRNA vaccine also induced a strong helper T cell response.

Starting from the 60th week, the research team exposed the vaccinated and non-vaccinated monkeys to HIV-related Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SHIV) through the rectal mucosa every week .

Since non-human primates are infected with HIV-1, SIV is used. After 13 weeks of continuous exposure, 2 of the 7 vaccinated monkeys were still uninfected, and the infection time of the remaining 5 monkeys was also delayed.

The infection was in the eighth week on average, while the unvaccinated monkeys were in the third week on average. Just get infected.

Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS

The research team said that the vaccine program is now rushing to increase the quantity and quality of virus-like particles (VLP) produced by mRNA expression , which will help to further improve the effectiveness of the vaccine, thereby reducing the dose and frequency of vaccination required to generate a strong immune response.

If it is further confirmed that it is safe and effective, the research team will plan to conduct human clinical trials of the vaccine in healthy adult volunteers.

Currently, Moderna has two pipelines of mRNA AIDS vaccine research and development.

Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS

Paper link:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01574-5

Moderna latest paper: mRNA vaccine brings hope to AIDS

(source:internet, reference only)


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