Hope in Africa as HIV vaccine shows promising results

10 July, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • There's been a sharp increase in HIV diagnoses among Asian-born gay men

The achievement was considered to be too small for the drug to go ahead and come into the market as a HIV vaccine.

According to a study in The Lancet, a new HIV vaccine is now being tested and developed, showing promising results thus far.

"These results represent an important milestone".

The near 40-year quest for an Aids vaccine received a hopeful boost on Saturday (July 7) when scientists announced that a trial drug triggered an immune response in humans and shielded monkeys from infection.

Both participants and researchers were "blinded" to what they'd been given, which meant the results should not have been affected by people making decisions based on what they thought their vaccination status was.

Their trial of vaccine included the 400 healthy people and then their next level of study is going to include 2,600 women of South Africa which are said to be at risk of Infection of HIV.

During the initial stages of the drug testing, the researchers have found that the drug can trigger an immune response when administered to humans. In a world with HIV and AIDS is home to around 37 million people.

Based on the results from phase 1 and phase 2a clinical trials that involved almost 400 healthy adults in Rwanda, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and the United States, a phase 2b trial has been initiated in southern Africa to determine the safety and efficacy of the HIV-1 vaccine candidate in 2,600 women at risk for acquiring HIV.

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So far, a major limitation has been the lack of direct comparability between preclinical studies and clinical trials.

We don't yet know how well it will protect people from HIV-1 infections in real life. Known as APPROACH, the phase 1/2a trial tested seven different Ad26/Env HIV vaccine regimens for their safety, tolerability and the ability to elicit immune responses in 393 healthy adult volunteers in Rwanda, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and the United States. Five participants reported at least one vaccine-related grade 3 adverse event, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, postural dizziness, back pain and malaise.

The same vaccine was also tested on rhesus monkeys and proved to be partially effective, protecting 67 percent of the test subjects from simian-human immunodeficiency virus, a virus similar to HIV.

They carried out parallel studies in rhesus monkeys and humans to define "the optimal vaccine regimen to advance into clinical efficacy trials".

In this study, the researchers aimed to evaluate mosaic adenovirus serotype 26-based HIV-1 vaccine candidates. It remains to be determined whether improved efficacy over RV144 will be achieved by either of the present efficacy trials (NCT02968849; NCT03060629). In early human trials the vaccine has been found to be safe in humans.

The aim of the study was to see whether the vaccine was safe, and whether people who received it still showed signs of the vaccine working after a year.

This study was funded by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV and the National Institutes of Health (OD024917, AI068618, AI078526, AI096040, AI124377, AI126603, AI128751, TR001102), the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and a cooperative agreement (W81XWH-07-2-0067) between the Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine and the US Department of Defense.

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