The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to fund a $20-million trial of an HIV vaccine, with the possibility of spending $80m more on related treatments.
The Gates foundation will sponsor a preclinical and a phase I clinical trial for a combination of drugs that can signal the body to produce antibodies for the virus that causes AIDS. The therapy is part of a new class of treatments that use messenger RNA, strands of molecular code that tell cells to make proteins.
Moderna Therapeutics, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing the potential vaccine. The company said it could receive up to $100m total for additional mRNA projects, which could include further development of the HIV vaccine.