Moderna is applying its mRNA technology to even bigger global health problems through a partnership with the non-profit research organization IAVI.
The collaboration will focus on the development of vaccines and antibodies against HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, antimicrobial intestinal infections, and of course COVID-19. IAVI, which focuses on drug discovery for urgent public health threats, will work with renowned biotechnology and its mRNA platform to promote candidates to help low-income countries where these diseases are prevalent.
Moderna’s mRNA platform can help develop faster clinical test material than traditional recombinant protein synthesis or cell systems, the company says. At this rate, collaboration should accelerate research and development efforts. If either candidate is successful, Moderna said they could be produced quickly and on a large scale.
The partnership already has several candidates in mind. The first is a phase 1 HIV vaccine called IAVI G002, which uses mRNA to deliver antigens. The study began in January and builds on research conducted by a previous team led by Professor William Schief, Ph.D. of Scripps Research, who serves as Executive Director, Vaccine Design at the Neutralizing Antibody Center in Washington. The study is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Moderna and IAVI announced the progress of IAVI G002 in HIV in January.
Another study for IAVI G003 will begin later this year in South Africa and Rwanda, supported by the Gates Foundation and the US President’s AIDS Contingency Plan, as part of the US Agency for International Development.
Collaborative preclinical efforts include candidates for tuberculosis, COVID-19, and HIV.