Hope for HIV: mRNA vaccine displays encouraging results in animal studies

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A new mRNA HIV vaccine technology encodes key proteins to form virus-like particles (VLPs) that induce neutralizing antibodies safely and effectively in animal studies with minimal side effects. 

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID; MD, USA) and investigators at Moderna (MA, USA) have collaborated with further institutions to test the efficacy of a preventative mRNA HIV-1 vaccine in a rhesus macaques animal model. Led by Paolo Lusso (NIAID), the teams’ results showed that the vaccinated animals had a 79% risk reduction of contracting simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV). Overall, the study indicates that this new vaccine formulation could be a promising candidate for human trials in future. 

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