HIV Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trial

HIV Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trial

Writing in a linked Comment, Dr George Pavlakis and Dr Barbara Felber from the National Cancer Institute at Frederik, Maryland, USA say: "Efficacy studies are necessary to determine protective ability in humans and also for the discovery of correlates of protection and for determining whether the same or different immune correlates apply for different vaccine regimens".

This is one of only five experimental HIV-1 vaccine concepts that have progressed to efficacy trials in humans in the 35 years of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

However, there's a strong incentive for this vaccine to succeed.

The mixture of HIV strains in the "mosaic" vaccine is delivered using a nonreplicating common-cold virus. Should it prove effective, doctors could administer vaccine on a broad scale where past vaccines would have only worked for small populations even if they'd worked well.

The scientists carried out a parallel study where they gave rhesus monkeys the vaccine to check for the analysis to protect monkeys from getting simian-human immunodeficiency virus - a virus which is similar to HIV that infects monkeys.

Jean-Daniel Lelievre of France's Vaccine Research Institute said the vaccine was likely not the "definitive" version, but may represent "a phenomenal advance".

The vaccine generated robust immune responses against HIV in healthy adults.

It has been estimated that about 37 million people worldwide live with HIV or Aids, and there are an estimated 1.8 million new cases every year.


There may be a glimmer of hope in the fight to protect people from HIV-1, the most widespread type of the virus and the one that causes the most disease globally.

However, researchers said these results should be interpreted cautiously.

Despite the fact that treatment of HIV with each passing year it becomes more effective still vaccine against this virus and the therapy was only in the dreams of doctors and patients.

Barouch is the recent director of the Centre for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Ishrael Deaconess Medical Center which is located in the Boston.

The drug protected two-thirds of monkeys in a trial lab, but scientists warn the same result may not occur in humans.

Preliminary results of the APPROACH trial in humans were presented at last year's International AIDS Conference; now they appear in peer-reviewed form for both the human and non-human studies in The Lancet. The human trial participants came from 12 clinics in South Africa, east Africa, Thailand and the United States.

While there have been HIV vaccines that have been approved for human trials in the past, only one was shown to provide protection against the disease, and it's rate of protection was considered too low to be implemented more widely. "We don't know whether protection in monkeys means there will be protection in humans".

"How do we make a vaccine that raises immune expenses relevant for all the HIV sequences?" said Barouch.

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