WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

NIAID begins enrollment in clinical trials of HIV-preventing antibody

The studies will test the effects of intravenously delivering VRC01. | Contributed photo
Researchers recently began enrollment for the first of two multinational clinical trials, known as the AMP Studies, which are sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and could provide a safe, tolerable and effective way to prevent HIV infection.

“The AMP Studies could have a major impact on the future of HIV prevention and may be especially informative to HIV vaccine research,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said. “Many scientists believe that if a vaccine were developed that elicited broadly neutralizing antibodies in healthy people, it would protect them from HIV infection. The AMP Studies will test this hypothesis by directly giving people the VRC01 antibody.”

The studies will test the effects of intravenously delivering VRC01, an investigational antibody discovered by the NIAID Vaccine Research Center. In addition to the studies’ potential impact in preventing HIV infection, they could also generate valuable information for vaccine research.

“The immediate goal of antibody-mediated prevention of HIV is for each VRC01 infusion to have a protective effect that lasts for many weeks,” Myron Cohen, the study's principal investigator, said. “Such a long-acting HIV prevention regimen might be easier for some people to follow than a daily regimen of oral medication, as currently required to prevent HIV infection.”

Cohen is also the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s associate vice chancellor for global health and the director of its Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases.

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