Powerful HIV Vaccine Shows Success in Trials

Prototype HIV vaccine could turn virus into minor chronic infection

(RxWiki News) A powerful prototype vaccine for HIV has shown early success in trials in humans over the past year. The vaccine has the potential to turn the once-deadly virus into a minor chronic infection.

Spanish researchers began the clinical trials a year ago after they found they vaccine to be highly successful in mice and monkeys.

"A vaccine still could be years off; take precautions to protect from HIV."

The announcement came recently from researchers Mariano Esteban of the National Biotechnology Center of Spain's CSIC research council, Felipe Garcia with Barcelona's Clinic Hospital and Juan Carlos Lopez Bernaldo de Quiros from Madrid's Gregorio Marañon Hospital.

Out of 370 volunteers, 30 healthy individuals were chosen to participate in the initial clinical phase. During the random double-blind study, six participants received a placebo while 24 received the vaccine.

Patients received three doses of the vaccine at the beginning of the trial, and an additional four doses 16 weeks later. The effects were then studied in blood tests.

Of the patients who received the vaccine, 95 percent developed bodily defenses. In trials prior HIV vaccines had helped only 25 percent developed bodily defenses. Previous vaccine attempts successfully stimulated the production of only cells or antibodies, but the new prototype was able to stimulate both.

Defenses were maintained for at least a year in 85 percent of participants, which was considered a sufficient amount of time.

Investigators now plan to begin another clinical trial with HIV-infected patients to learn whether the vaccine can not only prevent acquiring the virus, but also treat it.

The vaccine is  designed to vaccinate against HIV's subtype B,most common in the United States, Europe, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

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Review Date: 
September 29, 2011