May 23, 2016
Written by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
This post originally appeared on the NIH website.
An early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa has determined that an investigational vaccine regimen is safe and generates comparable immune responses to those reported in a landmark 2009 study showing that a vaccine can protect people from HIV infection. Consequently, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its partners have decided to advance the experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial. This new study, called HVTN 702, is designed to determine whether the regimen is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection among South African adults. The trial is slated to begin in November 2016, pending regulatory approval.
“For the first time in seven years, the scientific community is embarking on a large-scale clinical trial of an HIV vaccine, the product of years of study and experimentation,” said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health and a co-funder of the trial. “A safe and effective HIV vaccine could help bring about a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and is particularly needed in southern Africa, where HIV is more pervasive than anywhere else in the world.”
The experimental vaccine regimen that will be studied in HVTN 702 is now being tested in the smaller initial trial, named HVTN 100, and is based on the regimen investigated in the U.S. Military HIV Research Program-led RV144 clinical trial in Thailand that delivered landmark results in 2009. The current regimen is designed to provide greater protection than the RV144 regimen and has been adapted to the HIV subtype that predominates in southern Africa.