Vaccinating against HIV is the “Holy Grail” of scientific research. However, due to the complex nature of the virus, which is among the most genetically diverse known viruses, many have considered it impossible to vaccinate against.
The latest research however, reveals that a new vaccine for HIV AIDS may be closer than we think.
Developed by a computer algorithm that analyses HIV data worldwide, the vaccine is showing promise in early phase human trials.
Early clinical trial data for the “Ad26-env mosaic vaccine” was presented at the International AIDS Society 2017 conference in Paris, on Monday, July 24, by a researcher from Johnson & Johnson who developed the vaccine with the US National Institute of Health (NIH).
According to researcher, Dan Barouch, following the early stage human trials, the vaccine has demonstrated an increase in antibody resistance for all of the 393 study participants to date.
“[The mosaic vaccine has] raised antibody responses in 100 per cent of vaccine recipients.
“These promising data support a new sense of optimism that development of an HIV vaccine might in fact be possible,” said Mr Barouch.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci said that a HIV vaccine would be a powerful tool to help end AIDS globally.
“A safe and effective HIV vaccine would be a powerful tool to reduce new HIV infections worldwide and help bring about a durable end to the HIV/Aids pandemic.
“By exploring multiple promising avenues of vaccine development, we expand our opportunities to achieve these goals,” Mr Fauci said.
The mosaic vaccine is only the second HIV vaccine in 35 years, to have met efficacy standards, permitting its trial in humans.
In 2015, 1.8 million people became newly infected with HIV globally, and 1.1 million died from AIDS-related disease. Today, WHO estimates around 36.7 million people worldwide are living with HIV.
To date, the mosaic vaccine has been tested on 393 people in the US, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and Thailand, with larger scale, international trials set to commence shortly.