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New HIV Vaccine Candidates Can Become Game Changers




The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. Over time, this can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Although advances in HIV treatment using antiviral drugs have been successful in recent years, vaccine production is elusive. Scientists at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Scripps Research have been working on approaches that have proven to be fruitful so far.

The researcher’s goal was to introduce a widely neutralizing antibody, or a vaccine that induces the production of bnAbs. These antibodies are widely referred to as neutralization because they can attach to a wide variety of HIV strains. However, to do this, you need to target rare immune cells called naive B cells. This vaccine is intended to be the first part of multi-step vaccine therapy to induce many types of bnAb.

In the Phase 1 clinical trial, there were 48 HIV-negative participants. Fact sheet.. Participants received two vaccines or placebo every two months. Participants were also divided into low-dose and high-dose groups. Of the vaccinated participants, 97% had detectable levels of target immune cells. According to the fact sheet, researchers believe these levels are “high enough to be considered promising for boosting as the next step.” Participants were monitored for 12 months after vaccination and had no safety concerns.

Anyway, the vaccine seems to have served its purpose.

“We and others need to start the process by triggering appropriate B cells, cells with special properties that give bnAb-secreting cells the potential to grow, in order to induce bnAb. “I assumed,” said Professor William Schief.Scripps Research Immunologist and Executive Director of Vaccine Design at IAVI’s Neutralizing Antibody Center (NAC), the laboratory that developed the vaccine. Press release..

“In this study, the target cells were about one millionth of all naive B cells. To get the right antibody response, you must first prime the right B cells. The data from this study show that the vaccine We have confirmed the ability of immunogens to do this. “

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If the data are correct and the next phase of the clinical trial is successful, this could be a breakthrough in preventing HIV infection.

“Given the urgent need for HIV vaccines to curb the global epidemic, we believe these results will have broad implications for HIV vaccine researchers in deciding which scientific direction to pursue. “Masu,” said Mark Feinberg, president and CEO of IAVI.

“This is a huge achievement for vaccine science as a whole,” said Dennis Burton, director of science at the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center and professor at Scripps Research, director of the NIH Consortium for HIV / AIDS Vaccine Development.

According to the fact sheet, the group will begin further testing of the vaccine. There are also plans to work with Moderna to create an mRNA version of the vaccine aimed at inducing the production of the same bnAB.

Experts hope that this approach to HIV vaccines will also help other pathogens such as influenza virus, dengue virus, dicavirus, hepatitis C virus, and malaria parasites.

“This clinical trial has shown that not only HIV, but also the immune response can be stimulated in a predictable way to create new and better vaccines,” Burton said. “We believe that this type of vaccine engineering is more widely applicable and can bring a new day to vaccine science.”

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