Preventative HIV Vaccine Candidate Triggers Desired Immune Responses in Humans and Monkeys, and Protects Monkeys from Infection

More than three decades after the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), scientists are still working to develop a preventative vaccine that could finally put an end to the epidemic for which there are nearly two million new infections each year. In a new study, published online on July 6, 2016 in The Lancet, a team of researchers led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's (BIDMC’s) Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, in collaboration with Janssen Vaccines & Prevention and other partners, evaluated a series of preventative HIV vaccine regimens in uninfected human volunteers in five countries. In a similarly designed study, Dr. Barouch and colleagues tested the same vaccine for its ability to protect rhesus monkeys challenged with an HIV-like virus from infection. The findings showed the vaccines induced robust and comparable immune responses in humans and monkeys and protected monkeys against acquisition of infection. "This study demonstrates that the mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 vaccine candidate induced robust and comparable immune responses in human and monkeys," said Dr. Barouch, who is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Moreover, the vaccine provided 67 percent protection against viral challenge in monkeys." The Lancet article is titled “Evaluation of a Mosaic HIV-1 Vaccine in a Multicentre, Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial (APPROACH) and in Rhesus Monkeys (NHP 13-19).”
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