A new HIV vaccine – developed by the scientist who discovered the virus causes AIDS – has begun human trials.
Robert Gallo, who also invented the HIV blood test, and a team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine launched its Phase 1 clinical trial on Thursday (8 October).
‘Our HIV/AIDS vaccine candidate is designed to bind to the virus at the moment of infection, when many of the different strains of HIV found around the world can be neutralized,’ he said in a statement.
‘We believe this mechanism is a major prerequisite for an effective HIV preventive vaccine.’
The vaccine has been in development for 15 years and has already been tested extensively on monkeys.
‘While we still have more important basic research to do to crack the antibody protection challenge, this first step is an important one for us to learn how people (rather than test animals) respond,’ Gallo said.
The candidate immunogen, Full-Length Single Chain, is designed to elicit strongly protective antibody responses across the spectrum of HIV-1 strains.
The trial expects to enroll 60 people and will assess the safety and immune responses of the vaccine.