University of Maryland launches HIV vaccine trial
The vaccine candidate is known as the Full Length Single Chain. A team under Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology, created the vaccine. Gallo has spent the majority of his professional career researching HIV and AIDS. He was the scientist who first discovered human retroviruses, and the co-discovery of HIV causing AIDS is also attributed to him.
The vaccine material for the trial will be produced by Profectus BioSciences Inc., a startup that the institute has launched.
On Oct. 1, researchers began to recruit volunteers for Phase 1 of the trial. This is the first time that the vaccine candidate will have been tested on humans, and the trial requires approximately a year to complete.
This trial is a significant step in progress for creating an HIV/AIDS vaccine. There is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS. The researchers have highlighted that even though the trial is a crucial sign of progress, the vaccine needs much more work before it can be available for widespread use.
“We will learn from this trial and what we learn will be important,” Gallo said.