Novel HIV Vaccine Candidate is Safe and Induces Immune Response in Healthy Adults and Monkeys


Source: Lancet

Summary: A new study shows that an experimental HIV-1 vaccine regimen is well-tolerated and generated comparable and robust immune responses against HIV in healthy adults and rhesus monkeys.


Almost 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 1.8 million new cases every year. A safe and effective preventative vaccine is urgently needed to curb the HIV pandemic. In the 35 years of the HIV epidemic, only four HIV vaccine concepts have been tested in humans, and only one has provided evidence of protection in an efficacy trial a canarypox vector prime, gp120 boost vaccine regimen tested in the RV144 trial in Thailand lowered the rate of human infection by 31% but the effect was considered too low to advance the vaccine to common use. A new study shows that an experimental HIV-1 vaccine regimen is well-tolerated and generated comparable and robust immune responses against HIV in healthy adults and rhesus monkeys. The study findings were published in the journal the Lancet.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Credit: NCI

The APPROACH trial recruited 393 healthy, HIV-uninfected adults (aged 18-50 years) from 12 clinics in East Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the USA between February 2015 and October 2015. Volunteers were randomly assigned to receive either one of seven vaccine combinations or a placebo, and were given four vaccinations over the course of 48 weeks. To ‘boost’ the level of the body’s immune response, volunteers were given two additional vaccinations at week 24 and 48 using various combinations of Ad26.Mos.HIV or a different vaccine component called Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) with or without two different doses of clade C HIV gp140 envelope protein containing an aluminium adjuvant.

Results showed that all vaccine regimens tested were capable of generating anti-HIV immune responses in healthy individuals and were well tolerated, with similar numbers of local and systemic reactions reported in all groups, most of which were mild-to-moderate in severity.


More Information: Dan H Barouch et al, “Evaluation of a mosaic HIV-1 vaccine in a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1/2a clinical trial (APPROACH) and in rhesus monkeys (NHP 13-19)”, The Lancet (2018). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31364-3


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