HIV Vaccine Candidate Imbokodo Advances into Phase 2 Study

Almost 80 million people are estimated to have been infected since the virus was first diagnosed in the early 1980s

Almost 80 million people are estimated to have been infected since the virus was first diagnosed in the early 1980s. AAP

The drug Ad26 showed a high success and safety in trials on healthy people, caused the right effect of the immune system and protected rhesus monkeys from a monkey virus combined, analog HIV.

The new so-called mosaic vaccine is composed of proteins of various strains of this virus, so ideally should be universal protection.

Participants in the research were selected from 12 clinics in East Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the USA.

Barouch disclosed support from the NIH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV, and is a co-inventor on HIV-1 vaccine antigen patents that have been licensed to Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV.

A key hurdle to HIV vaccine development has been the lack of direct comparability between clinical trials and preclinical studies, the they said. The human trial, which involved 393 participants, produced an anti-HIV immune system response.

A new vaccine appears to be safe and induced an immune response in humans and rhesus monkeys in an early stage trial, according to new research published Friday in the journal The Lancet.

With 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 1.8 million new cases each year, a preventative vaccine is urgently needed to curb this worldwide pandemic.

Since it is a huge discovery so the researcher needs more testing to determine if the immune response produced can prevent HIV infection in people. However, creating a vaccine has proven very hard for scientists "because there are so many strains of the virus" and " because HIV is adept at mutating to elude attack from our immune systems". The volunteers were also injected with the common-cold virus to boost their immune system once at the start of the trial and again 12 weeks later into the study.

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"These results should be interpreted cautiously". The treatment was also able to protect monkeys from a virus very similar to HIV, although not HIV itself. "Obviously, the search for an HIV vaccine is very elusive".

In total, it's approximated that almost 80 million people have been infected since the HIV virus was first detected in the early 1980s - and 35 million have died. We thank the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the generous support of USAID and other donors; a full list of IAVI donors is available online.

In the meantime, the vaccine will be tested on women in South Africa, who are most at risk of contracting the virus.

There is no definitive immunological measurement that is known to predict protection against HIV-1 in humans, they said.

These types of trials are created to test out whether an intervention is safe and works at the most basic level. This immune response could protect the humans from the infection. Further attempts to infect the subjects of macaques with virus SHIV-SF162P3, which is similar to HIV that showed resistance in 67%.

Dr. Dan H. Barouch, a lead researcher on the study and a professor at Harvard Medical School, said he was "pleased" with the results but that they should still be treated with caution.

Researchers have since launched a phase two trial involving 2,600 participants in southern Africa to continue testing how safe and effective the HIV-1 vaccine is.

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