Moderna Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced a $20 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the development of a novel, affordable combination of mRNA-based antibody therapeutics to help prevent HIV infection.
The grant will support an evaluation of the antibody combination in a preclinical setting and help the company's infectious disease-focused research venture Valera conduct a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study. Through an agreement between Gates and the company, the foundation may support the development of additional mRNA-based projects with investments of up to $100 million.
"Moderna Therapeutics' research has considerable potential for the development of an effective prevention intervention for HIV, and potentially other infectious diseases that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people," said Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health at the Gates Foundation. "We look forward to collaborating with Moderna on the advancement of new tools to fight HIV."