Phase I trial of novel AIDS vaccine begins

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and DNAVEC announced on Monday that vaccinations for a Phase I trial for the novel SeV-G vaccine candidate started this September.

The vaccinations were given at the St. Stephen's Centre in London, which is the trial's third and final location. The trial started earlier this year at Projet San Francisco in Kigali, Rwanda, and at the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative in Nairobi.

The Phase I clinical trial, also known as S001, is expected to last for two years. It is the first test of the SeV-G vaccine candidate and will look to evaluate the vaccine's safety and tolerability in approximately 64 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 to 50.

The clinical trial will also seek to assess immune responses by a prime-boost regimen of SeV-G and a vaccine candidate based on adenovirus serotype 35.

SeV-G was created by IAVI and the Japanese biotechnology company DNAVEC to be a replicating viral vector that targets mucosal tissues. It also carries the gene for the gag protein of HIV as a vaccine antigen. SeV-G was derived from a weakened version of the Sendai virus, which is related to measles and canine distemper viruses. Unlike many of the other HIV vaccine vectors that have been evaluated in trials so far, SeV-G retains the ability to multiply inside the human body.