Scientists Have Developed a New HIV Vaccine
CAMBRIDGE, MA — July 9, 2018
A group of scientists led by Harvard Medical School Professor Dan Barouch has developed a new HIV vaccine. This could be the real breakthrough that so many have been waiting for for so long.
A detailed report on the vaccine was published by the scientific journal Lancet.
According to data, 37 million cases of HIV-1 infection have been diagnosed worldwide, with more than 1.8 million new cases diagnosed every new year. No licensed prophylactic HIV-1 vaccine exists.
According to the study's summary, the scientists "aimed to evaluate mosaic adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26)-based HIV-1 vaccine candidates in parallel studies in humans and rhesus monkeys to define the optimal vaccine regimen to advance into clinical efficacy trials."
Participants for the study were recruited from 12 clinics in East Africa, South Africa, Thailand, and the U.S. They were healthy, HIV-1-uninfected participants who were considered at low risk for HIV-1 infection.
They were vaccinated with a specific combination of the vaccine, using different combinations (4 vaccinations, in general). After the third time, blood tests showed that the immune system reacted correctly, without any serious side effects.
The mosaic vaccine was the most immunogenic in humans; it elicited Env-specific binding antibody responses and antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis responses at week 52, and T-cell responses at week 50.
"It induced comparable and robust immune responses in humans and rhesus monkeys, and it provided significant protection against repetitive heterologous SHIV challenges in rhesus monkeys," according, once again, to the study's summary.
The results are preliminary, as scientists have yet to conduct the final stage of the study - clinical trials of humans infected with HIV.