New HIV Vaccine Candidate Shows 97% Antibody Response in Phase I Human Trials
Good news! More than 40 years after the first documented case of HIV in humans that led to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, we are nearing closer to a vaccine that could help prevent the disease. A new approach using mRNA technology, similar to the COVID-19 vaccine, has shown great promise after a Phase I human trial returned a 97% antibody response rate in participants. The approach to the vaccine will require multiple steps to trigger the response of many different types of antibodies that will target the HIV virus.
In the Phase I trial, 48 healthy adults were either given two doses of the vaccine or a placebo, to see if there was a marked difference in the response. The trial is now considered a “landmark study” in the HIV vaccine field because of its unprecedented effectiveness in producing these rare antibodies. The method used has researchers optimistic that a similar approach can be used to attack other pathogens such as dengue, Zika, malaria, and hepatitis C. For now, the team plans to work with Moderna to hopefully accelerate the production and testing of this novel approach.