Global HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Monkeys

A scientific team led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has shown that bioinformatically optimized HIV vaccine antigens known as “mosaic” antigens might be useful in the design of a global HIV vaccine.

“A global HIV vaccine would offer major biomedical and practical advantages over most other HIV vaccine candidates, which are limited to certain regions of the world,” says lead author Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at BIDMC.

“To our knowledge, this study represents the first evaluation of the protective efficacy of a candidate global HIV antigen strategy in nonhuman primates.”

Although most animals immunized with the mosaic HIV vaccine became infected by the end of the study, the researchers observed an 87 to 90 percent reduction in monkeys’ probability of becoming infected each time they were exposed to the virus. In contrast, monkeys that received sham vaccines became infected more quickly.

“These data suggest a path forward for the development of a global HIV vaccine and give us hope that such a vaccine might indeed be possible,” said Barouch. “We are planning to advance this HIV vaccine candidate into clinical trials next year,” he adds.

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