HIV Vaccine Trial Starts At Oxford
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The goal of the trial, known as HIV-CORE 0052, is to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the HIVconsvX vaccine – a mosaic vaccine targeting a broad range of HIV-1 variants, making it potentially applicable for HIV strains in any geographical region. Thirteen healthy, HIV-negative adults, aged 18-65 and who are considered not to be at high risk of infection, will initially receive one dose of the vaccine followed by a further booster dose at four weeks.

Professor Tomáš Hanke, Professor of Vaccine Immunology at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, and lead researcher on the trial, said: ‘An effective HIV vaccine has been elusive for 40 years. This trial is the first in a series of evaluations of this novel vaccine strategy in both HIV-negative individuals for prevention and in people living with HIV for cure.’

While most HIV vaccine candidates work by inducing antibodies generated by B-cells, HIVconsvX induces the immune system’s potent, pathogen obliterating T cells, targeting them to highly conserved and therefore vulnerable regions of HIV – an “Achilles heel” common to most HIV variants.

Professor Tomáš Hanke said: ‘There is strong evidence that undetectable HIV viral load prevents sexual transmission. Nevertheless, the pace of decline in new HIV infections failed to reach the Fast-Track Target agreed upon by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016: fewer than 500,000 new infections per year in 2020.

‘Even in the broader context of increasing antiretroviral treatment and prevention, an HIV-1 vaccine remains the best solution and likely a key component to any strategy ending the AIDS epidemic.’ The researchers hope to be able to report results of the HIV-CORE 0052 trial by April 2022.

Source:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2021-07-05-hiv-vaccine-trial-starts-oxford
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