Medicine

New HIV vaccine tested on humans

New HIV vaccine tested on humans

With 1.8 million new cases of human immunodeficiency virus every year, according to United Nations estimates, and nearly 37 million people living with HIV worldwide, the quest for a vaccine has been urgent - and extremely hard. However, because the mosaic vaccine attacks multiple strains of the virus, doctors would be able to administer it on a much broader scale, and it could potentially be a powerful weapon against HIV if all goes well.

Participants in the research were selected from 12 clinics in East Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the USA. In that same year, some 1.8 million people were newly infected while 1 million had already died because of HIV-related complications. All of the vaccine combinations turned out safe and produced an anti-HIV immunity.

There has been a four decades long challenge to develop a vaccine against the deadly HIV virus that causes AIDS.

Researchers, including those from Harvard Medical School in the USA, found that the "mosaic" vaccine, created by combining pieces of different HIV viruses, is well-tolerated and generated comparable and robust immune responses against HIV in healthy adults and rhesus monkeys.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization and UNAIDS estimated that there were about 36.7 million people who were living with HIV worldwide at the end of 2016. Light of science has tested the drug on healthy people with great attention to detail for the most accurate result, in which identified potential side effects, the safety of the drug and the desired dosage.

The vaccine containing "mosaic" HIV Env/Gag/Pol antigens was created from many HIV strains, delivered using a non-replicating common-cold virus (Ad26).

In both humans and monkeys, researchers found those who received the vaccine still showed signs of the vaccine in their immune system after a year.

He adds: "These results should be interpreted cautiously".

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The vaccine was developed by Janssen pharmaceuticals.

A parallel study in rhesus monkeys was also performed so that immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the various vaccines could be assessed and the optimal vaccine regimen could be realised to transfer to further clinical studies.

Previous HIV-1 vaccine candidates have typically been limited to specific regions of the world.

We don't yet know how well it will protect people from HIV-1 infections in real life.

In the meantime, the vaccine will be tested on women in South Africa, who are most at risk of contracting the virus. The trial drug has been proven safe and effective while being used by humans and is advancing to the next stage of testing. "Healthy" means that they were not infected by HIV.

Study leader Dan Barouch, a Harvard Medical School professor said that the results till now are "promising" but it is best to be "cautious". This immune response could protect the humans from the infection.

Based on the results from this phase 1/2a clinical trial that involved almost 400 healthy adults, 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. "But the data is promising and we are happy to report the immune response".


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