A new clinical trial being done at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle is using the human immune system to fight HIV.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the study with the goal of making a critical step toward an HIV vaccine.
The trial is taking place at Fred Hutch and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced the start of the G001 clinical trial. It’s designed to stimulate the immune system to initiate a key first step in the generation of potent proteins, known as broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), against HIV.
The trial will evaluate the safety of the candidate and the immune responses it is able to induce. The candidate is known as eOD-GT8 60mer.
““The world urgently needs new ways to prevent HIV infection, and chief among these is a vaccine,” Dr. Mark Feinberg, president and CEO of IAVI, said in a release. “Fortunately, a new generation of HIV immunogen candidates, including eOD-GT8 60mer, is entering clinical trials. These candidates are being developed using highly sophisticated and elegant vaccine science and provide a precedent for vaccine strategies targeting the induction of specific immune responses believed to be critical in protecting against HIV infection.”
Dr. Julie McElrath is leading the trial at Fred Hutch.
She’s the senior vice president and director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division.
Results are expected in late 2019.
““This is a big moment, not just for HIV vaccines, but for vaccine science as a whole,” said Dr. Dennis Burton, scientific director of the NAC and chair of the Scripps Research Department of Immunology and Microbiology. “This trial is going to tell us how much control we can have over the immune responses induced by a targeted vaccine candidate. If this type of vaccine engineering is successful, it can be applied more broadly, bringing about a new day in vaccinology. If we can really drive immune responses in predictable ways, we can make better, more effective vaccines, not just for HIV but for other viruses, too.”
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