Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Researchers hopeful over experimental HIV vaccine

Scientists announced that a trial drug against the AIDS vaccine has yielded encouraging results and has advanced to the next phase of the pre-approval trial process HIV vaccine delivers promising results in human tests
Celia Hoffman | 09 July, 2018, 21:54

Scientists will now carry out a trial named "Imbokodo", the Zulu word for rock, on 2,600 women in southern Africa.

"This study demonstrates that the mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 vaccine candidate induced robust and comparable immune responses in human and monkeys". "Only a clinical efficacy trial can determine if it can protect humans".

The experimental HIV-1 vaccine is one of five that have progressed to tests of effectiveness in humans.

Only one so far, RV144, yielded some protection. The drug showed it could boost the immune responses against HIV. Known as APPROACH, the phase 1/2a trial tested seven different Ad26/Env HIV vaccine regimens for their safety, tolerability and the ability to elicit immune responses in 393 healthy adult volunteers in Rwanda, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and the United States. They were administered 4 injections over a period of 48 weeks and their immune system response was noted.

One of the biggest challenges is the fact that many vaccine candidates that seem to work in the lab or in animal trials often don't work in human trials, which means a lot of time and money can be spent developing something that doesn't actually work. A vaccine would not only be more manageable, but also more effective.

Until now, all the positive results show that researchers can continue testing it. Only five of the recipients of the vaccine reported side effects such as dizziness, diarrhoea, stomach pain, low back pain etc.

There has been a four decades long challenge to develop a vaccine against the deadly HIV virus that causes AIDS.

We can not say anything on a note as the majority of studies which are done on the animals prove to be wrong when seen in humans.

More news: Boris Johnson quits to add to pressure on May over Brexit

Jean-Daniel Lelievre of France's Vaccine Research Institute said the vaccine was likely not the "definitive" version, but may represent "a phenomenal advance".

With an estimated 1.8 million new cases of HIV every year, a safe and effective vaccine would be an incredible tool in stopping the pandemic. Death toll is estimated now at a million deaths per year.

Nearly 80 million people are estimated to have been infected since the virus was first diagnosed in the early 1980s.

About 35 million have died. However, creating a vaccine has proven very hard for scientists "because there are so many strains of the virus" and " because HIV is adept at mutating to elude attack from our immune systems".

A new study has given the researchers a ray of light in the battle to safeguard people from the most widespread virus, HIV-1.

Dr Brady added that in the meantime there were already tools that were effective for preventing the disease from spreading, such as contraception and treatments for HIV-positive people that prevent them from passing on the virus.

As the medical world gears up for the 22nd annual International Aids Conference to be held in Amsterdam from July 23 to 27, a new trial vaccine is offering restored hope in battling AIDS.

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