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HIV vaccine delivers promising results in human tests
09 July 2018, 09:52 | Silvia Roy
Are we on the road to an HIV vaccine?Hide Caption
"These results represent an important step for the development of this HIV vaccine", said the study's leading author Dan Barouch, but he cautioned that there is no assurance that the upcoming tests in humans would be as successful as the trials on lab animals. This vaccine is one of the five experimental HIV-1 vaccine concepts that reached such a success in nearly 40 years of HIV pandemic.
"We eagerly await the results of the phase 2b efficacy trial called HVTN705, or "Imbokodo", which will determine whether or not this vaccine will protect humans against acquiring HIV", said Barouch.
However, this "mosaic" HIV-1 vaccine has a multi-target approach.
This study was supported by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV and the NIH, the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and a cooperative agreement between the Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine and the US Department of Defense.
An HIVvaccine under development by scientists has passed through to the next phase, creating hope for a future after more than 40 years of research and development.
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Condoms are still at the frontline of efforts to prevent infection - mainly through sex and blood contact - though more and more people use ART as prophylaxis. Through this study, the researchers have found a new vaccine that seems to be appropriate and safe and induces an immune in human beings as well as the rhesus monkeys.
The new so-called mosaicvaccine is composed of proteins of various strains of this virus, so ideally should be universal protection.
According to a study in The Lancet, a new HIVvaccine is now being tested and developed, showing promising results thus far.
In addition to the human trials, the vaccine showed a promising response in 72 rhesus monkeys.
With an estimated 1.8 million new cases of HIVevery year, a safe and effective vaccine would be an incredible tool in stopping the pandemic.
With that said, it doesn't necessarily mean that the patients are incapable of contracting HIV - and it would be unethical to try to infect them with the virus to find out. Thus, an HIVvaccine is needed badly.
That's because most previous attempts have been based on a HIV strain from a specific region of the world, and the virus is able to rapidly mutate, effectively making any vaccine attempts outdated before they've even been rolled out.
For the latest study, published in The Lancet medical journal, Barouch and a team tested the candidate drug on 393 healthy, HIV-free adults aged 18 to 50 in east Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the United States.
The participants were divided into two groups: those who were injected with one of seven vaccine combinations (a placebo), and those who were injected with four vaccines over the course of 49 weeks. Moreover, the vaccine candidate protected against infection with an HIV-like virus in monkeys.
We can not say anything on a note as the majority of studies which are done on the animals prove to be wrong when seen in humans. Scientists must await the results of this trial find out whether the vaccine cannot only provoke an immuneresponse, but actively protect against HIV.
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