Promising results for new vaccine against HIV

A new vaccine against HIV has been shown in a study to induce antibodies against the virus, which indicates that the vaccine can provide immunity against the disease.

In a phase 1 study with a small group of volunteers, an experimental vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus HIV has been tested with good results, it reports CNN.

Researchers from the USA and Sweden

The vaccine was found to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies in the volunteers.

The results suggest that the vaccine, administered twice eight weeks apart, can induce immune defenses against HIV.

The researchers behind the phase 1 study come from Scripps Research, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the National Institutes of Health and other institutions in the US and Sweden.

Effective vaccine is needed

There is no cure for HIV. According to the researchers, approximately one million people are infected with HIV every year, which shows the need for effective vaccines.

In the study, the vaccine, called eOD-GT8 60mer, showed a “favorable safety profile” and in all but one of 36 subjects, 97 percent, broadly neutralizing antibodies were induced.

Can neutralize many variants

Broadly neutralizing antibodies can neutralize many genetic variants of HIV but it has been difficult to induce them through vaccination.

“Learning how to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies against pathogens with high antigenic diversity, such as HIV, influenza, hepatitis C virus, or the betacoronavirus family, represents a major challenge for rational vaccine design,” the researchers write, according to CNN.

“Designing vaccines that target the germline offers a potential strategy to meet this challenge,” they write further, according to CNN.

All produced antibodies

The vaccine candidate now being tested is germline-targeted, meaning it is designed to induce the production of broadly neutralizing antibodies by stimulating the right antibody-producing cells.

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In the study, 18 of the participants received two doses of vaccine of 20 micrograms eight weeks apart, 18 participants received 100 micrograms twice eight weeks apart.

In addition to these 36 subjects, 12 subjects were included in a control group that received two doses of placebo eight weeks apart.

All subjects who received the real vaccine started producing antibodies after the first dose, after the second vaccination the production increased.

Julie McElrathsenior vice president and director of the Division of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and author of the study, says a second Phase 1 study is underway with the vaccine candidate.

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