French AIDS vaccine to enter human trials

A French vaccine cure for AIDS in the works for 13 years recently entered human clinical trials.

The vaccine, produced by the start-up Biosantech SA in Sophia Antipolis, is designed to stimulate the body's production of antibodies that target a viral protein, preventing it from infecting cells, according to

The trials are the culmination of research efforts led by Dr. Erwann Loret. The vaccine will be tested on 48 HIV-positive volunteers from the infectious diseases department at La Conception Hospital, located in Marseilles.

Loret hopes that the trials, which are scheduled to last a year, will lead to finding the optimal dose for treatment. After that is known, a second trial involving 80 volunteers will commence. Ultimately, Loret and Biosantech want to find out if the new vaccine is capable of replacing current tri-therapy treatments that are effective, but considered inconvenient and expensive, reports.

Initial experimentation on non-human primates indicates that the vaccine may also have a potential preventative effect.

Biosantech SA promotes and develops vaccines against the different virus types and subtypes responsible for AIDS. Before running phase III clinical trials, it is likely the company will seek to partner with a pharmaceutical laboratory to further the vaccine's development.