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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

June 3, 2024 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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A new study successfully stimulated animals’ immune systems to induce a rare, priority class of HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), findings that the researchers hope could eventually lead to an HIV vaccine that generates multiple classes of bNAbs to prevent HIV. The researchers engineered immunogens, or molecules used in vaccines to elicit a specific immune response, and tested them in monkeys and mice to see if they induced antibodies that showed signs of maturing into the class of HIV bnABs that is a priority for HIV vaccine development because it neutralizes a broad range of HIV variants. bnAbs are seen as an especially promising strategy for HIV vaccine development because they bind to parts of the genetically diverse virus that stay constant even as it mutates. These findings support the potential of these immunogens as the first part of a multistep vaccine regimen for humans.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has awarded $6.5 million to support phase 2 clinical trials of Bavarian Nordic’s MVA-BN mpox vaccine for children in Africa, as the disease has spread rapidly in recent years and has particularly affected children, who account for most of the infections and deaths in the current outbreaks in East and Central Africa. The study, which is expected to launch later this year in one or more African countries, will enroll 460 people in endemic regions who do not have a history of mpox illness or vaccination. This trial also complements a plan by African countries, announced in April, to coordinate mpox efforts.

Last week, the Ministry of Health of Indonesia and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve access to and uptake of vaccines and medicines in Indonesia, as well as to strengthen local production in the country. MPP will provide technical assistance on local manufacturing by identifying possible manufacturing partners, exploring opportunities for technology transfer, and working with manufacturers to strengthen their capacity to produce high-quality, affordable products and new technologies, including mRNA vaccines. The partnership will also support the introduction of innovative medicines that address current access gaps and needs, health workforce capacity-strengthening, and support for the licensing and uptake of products licensed by MPP.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author