The University of Oxford this week started vaccinations of a novel HIV vaccine candidate as part of a Phase I clinical trial in the UK. From a report: 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. The trial is part of the European Aids Vaccine Initiative (EAVI2020), an internationally collaborative research project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 health programme for research and innovation.
Professor Tomas 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.
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