Oxford scientists begin HIV vaccine clinical trial

Amarachi Okeh

Scientists at Oxford University, United Kingdom, have commenced a clinical trial for a novel HIV vaccine.

The trial known as HIV-CORE 0052 began on Monday.

The goal of the trial, according to Oxford, is to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the HIVconsvX vaccine – a mosaic vaccine targeting a broad range of HIV-1 variants, making it potentially applicable for HIV strains in any geographical region.

For this clinical trial, 13 healthy adults aged between 18–65 who were considered not to be at high risk of infection received one dose of the vaccine which will be followed by a further booster dose at four weeks.

Speaking on the trial, Professor of Vaccine Immunology at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford and lead researcher for the trial, Tomáš Hankeof in a statement said, “An effective HIV vaccine has been elusive for 40 years.

“This trial is the first in a series of evaluations of this novel vaccine strategy in both HIV-negative individuals for prevention and in people living with HIV for a cure.”

Describing how this vaccine would work on Oxford University’s official website, the researchers said “While most HIV vaccine candidates work by inducing antibodies generated by B-cells, HIVconsvX induces the immune system’s potent, pathogen obliterating T cells, targeting them to highly conserved and therefore vulnerable regions of HIV – an “Achilles’ heel” common to most HIV variants.”

This trial is part of the European Aids Vaccine Initiative (EAVI2020), an international collaborative research project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 Health Programme for Research and Innovation.

The researchers said they hope to be able to report the results of the HIV-CORE 0052 trial by April 2022.

There are also plans to start similar trials in Europe, Africa and the US, the site reports.

Copyright PUNCH

Author: Histidine