Good Day BIO: COVID-19 accelerated HIV vaccine candidates
May 18, 2022
On HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, we look at how the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines accelerated progress toward the goal. And last week, Iowa’s Governor joined the groundbreaking of the first bio-BDO facility in the U.S., which uses Genomatica’s technology. (636 words, 3 minutes,…
The only newsletter at the intersection of biotech, politics, and policy
May 18, 2022
On HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, we look at how the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines accelerated progress toward the goal. And last week, Iowa’s Governor joined the groundbreaking of the first bio-BDO facility in the U.S., which uses Genomatica’s technology. (636 words, 3 minutes, 10 seconds)
COVID-19 mRNA successes accelerated HIV vaccine candidates
This HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is a bit different—because clinical trials currently underway may soon tell us whether coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs will lead to an HIV vaccine, reports Bio.News.
What they’re saying: “Developing a vaccine regimen that induces sustained protective levels of HIV neutralizing antibodies in humans has been difficult to achieve. At Moderna, we believe that mRNA offers an opportunity to take a fresh approach to this challenge,” said Stephen Hoge, M.D., President of Moderna.
The big picture: “The pandemic probably accelerated the HIV vaccine field 5 or 10 years within the span of a year,” Dr. Jesse Clark, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, told NPR last week.
Why it matters: Thanks to pharmaceutical advances, HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence for many people, as we reported last year. However, “the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine remains key to realizing a durable end to the HIV pandemic,” NIAID said.
May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day—a chance to recognize efforts to develop an HIV vaccine, which may be closer than ever.
FDA: FDA expands eligibility for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to children 5 through 11 years “[T]he omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized, and children may also experience longer term effects, even following initially mild disease,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf.
Nature: Flu vaccine could cut COVID risk “A study of more than 30,000 health-care workers in Qatar found that those who got a flu jab were nearly 90% less likely to develop severe COVID-19 over the next few months, compared with those who hadn’t been recently vaccinated against flu.”
Iowa breaks ground on first U.S. plant producing bio-BDO
The new facility will produce a widely used raw material using technology from BIO member Genomatica—and reduce the footprint of many household products.
Why it matters to the planet: “QIRA can save up to 93% of greenhouse gas emissions when replacing today’s widely used chemical intermediates made from traditional fossil sources,” according to Cargill. “QIRA can be used for making spandex and other polyester-based chemical fibers as well as biodegradable plastics, polyurethane coatings, sealants and artificial leathers, thereby improving their environmental footprint.”
Why it matters to Iowa: “This product will mean better market opportunities for farmers and benefits for people across the state of Iowa and around the world,” said Gov. Reynolds.
What they’re saying: “We are pleased to supply our innovative sustainable technology to Cargill and HELM, whose venture and complementary strengths are ideally suited to do just that—ensure that an essential chemical found everywhere from our shoes and clothes to our cars will be produced in a superior way with a far lower environmental impact,” said Genomatica CEO Christophe Schilling, when the partnership was announced last year.
More Agriculture & Environment News:
The Seattle Times: The future of ‘green’ air travel is here with sustainable aviation fuels "Greener air travel is on the horizon. Biofuels will play an increasing role in powering it. And in addition to their environmental benefits, these new sources of fuel will make the world less reliant on countries like Russia to meet energy needs," writes BIO's President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath.
BIO Beltway Report
President Biden’s Wednesday: The White House COVID-19 Response Team will hold a briefing at 10:45 AM ET. This afternoon, Biden will receive an interagency briefing on hurricane season prep.