Tag Archives: vaccine

This 90 Percent Successful Vaccine May Be Our Best Chance to Eradicate HIV/AIDS

Dr Esteban

Spanish researchers have completed the first human trial of a new vaccine against HIV. It has been successful in 90% of the HIV-free volunteers during phase I testing. This vaccine brings great hope to eradicate HIV forever.

The team lead by Dr Mariano Esteban, a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council‘s Biotechnology National Centre, has been working on this method since 1999. They are using an attenuated virus called the MVA-B, a variation of the Modified Ankara Vaccinia, which was previously used to eradicate smallpox. The Modified Ankara Vaccinia also forms the base of other vaccines. The B refers to the HIV-B, the most common HIV subtype in Europe.

Dr Esteban’s team inserted the HIV genes Gag, Pol, Nef and Env in MVA’s genetic sequence. In 2008, they tried the resulting HIV nuke on mice and monkeys. It was a complete success.


The first human test results were published in Vaccine and Journal of Virology. In the experiment, scientists injected the vaccine in 24 of 30 HIV-free volunteers. Six volunteers were treated with a placebo vaccine—they didn’t experience any effect. But 90% of the treated subjects developed a very strong immunological response against the HIV virus. 85% kept the immunological reaction for at least one year, which is really good news.

According to their results, there were no significant secondary effects in any of the patients, which was one of the major objectives of to be tested in this clinical trial.

Despite the success, Dr Esteban is cautious:

“The treatment has only been tested on 30 volunteers and, while the vaccine provokes a powerful response in most of the cases, it’s still to soon if the resulting defense would be effective against an actual HIV infection”.

The team will now start another phase I trial, injecting the vaccine in HIV-infected people. The objective of this trial is to test the therapeutical effect of the vaccine in these patients.

According to Dr Esteban, “in principle, the immunological profile of MVA-B satisfies the requirements for a promising vaccine against the HIV, like the creation of antibodies and the activation of key cells in the defense against the virus.” Sadly, it is still far away from commercialization: they need to test this on phase II and III trials, injecting vaccinated volunteers with the actual HIV virus on a larger scale.

Hopefully, one day, this vaccine will nail the HIV nemesis down.

Original Article by Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo

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SEEK concludes HIV-v vaccine Phase Ib/II trial

UK based biopharmaceutical firm SEEK has concluded a Phase Ib/II trial evaluating the safety, efficacy and tolerability of HIV-v vaccine.

The vaccine showed almost 90% difference in viral count in HIV-infected patients in comparison to placebo group, following a single vaccine injection.

SEEK claims its HIV-v vaccine targets only the conserved regions in the internal proteins of the HIV virus which remain constant across all HIV strains.

The company expects to investigate partnerships to undertake complete human trials during 2012-13.

SEEK CEO Gregory Stoloff said the next step will be to progress this to final human trials and determine the optimum dose and dosing regime to further enhance the vaccine’s efficacy.

SEEK chief scientific officer Wilson Caparros Wanderley said the results demonstrate that after a single immunizationthe HIV-v vaccine produces a response from both the antibody and T cell immune systems to the conserved regions only.

Original article written by Pharmaceutical Business Review

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Simian Immunodeficiency Vaccine Update

A post we made last week suggested a new vaccine can protect macaques against the monkey equivalent of HIV, however the vaccine using the common virus cytomegalovirus (CMV) as the vector or container of proteins from the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) protected none of a group of 24 rhesus macaques from infection. But in 13 of the monkeys vaccinated, it did produce infections characterised by an undetectable viral load.

This profound viral suppression led to an apparent decline in the number of SIV-infected cells over a period of two years after infection to the point that SIV-infected cells were undetectable in 72% of monkeys with controlled viremia. Despite this, there was no apparent waning of immune responses to SIV in the all-important effector-memory CD8 and CD4 lymphocytes over this time in twelve of the 13 monkeys.

The researchers comment that their vaccine seems to have produced “an unprecedented level of SIV control and even the possibility of progressive clearance of SIV infection over time.”

The question now is how to make a safe analogue of this vaccine for use in humans.

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