HIV virus

HIV virus image courtesy of NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has announced a Phase 1 clinical study of HIV vaccines using mRNA sequences.

The study will test the safety and immunogenicity of three investigational HIV mRNA vaccines known as BG505 MD39.3 mRNA, BG505 MD39.3 gp151 mRNA and BG505 MD39.3 gp151 CD4KO mRNA.

The three HIV vaccine candidates were developed by scientists at the Scripps Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development (CHAVD) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) Neutralizing Antibody Center at Scripps.

NIAID is a division within the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA) manufactured the vaccines for the HVTN 302 trial with an NIAID-backed contract.

Similar to mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, each of the HIV vaccine candidates will be based on the spike protein found on the surface of the virus in question.

A press release from NIH stresses that none of the vaccines can cause HIV infection.

[Related: 7 potential applications of mRNA-based therapies]

Earlier this year, NIH announced that an investigational mRNA vaccine had promising results in animals.

Scientists have worked for almost four decades to create an HIV vaccine.

Moderna has two prophylactic HIV vaccine candidates in preclinical development: mRNA-1644 and mRNA-1574.