An investigational HIV vaccine that showed promise in a 2009 clinical trial in Thailand also has shown robust immune responses when recently given to 100 healthy adults in South Africa.
Results from the HVTN 097 study were presented on Tuesday at the HIVR4P conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The positive outcome of the study bodes well for plans to test a similar experimental vaccine in South Africa next year.
“The HVTN 097 study clearly shows that the investigational HIV vaccine regimen is safe in South Africans and induces comparable if not somewhat stronger immune responses than seen among Thais in the RV144 trial,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director, said. “The findings are encouraging as we move toward evaluating a modified and potentially improved version of the vaccine regimen in South Africa.”
The NIAID sponsored the HVTN 097 study.
Since 2009, scientists and researchers have looked at and dissected RV144 data to see what types of antibodies and cellular immune responses a preventive HIV vaccine may need to induce.
“Vaccines specifically designed to elicit immune responses more closely directed to the circulating strains of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa have been constructed,” Dr. Larry Corey, HVTN principal investigator, said. “Clinical trials of these HIV subtype C vaccines that are based upon those used in RV144 and HVTN097 are planned to begin in South Africa in early 2015.”