GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals has teamed with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative for early research and development of experimental HIV vaccines that use primate adenoviruses to insert HIV genes into the body to prompt an immune-system response to invading HIV. IAVI will contribute technical expertise and funding for the project. Researchers from both Glaxo and IAVI will form a joint research and development team.
French researchers report in the July 22 edition of the journal AIDS that two experimental therapeutic HIV vaccines might lengthen the time patients can safely interrupt antiretroviral therapy. After a 12-week treatment break, 25% of immunized study subjects immunized with ALVAC-HIV and Lipo-6T continued to have low viral loads and remained off antiretroviral therapy, compared to just 5% of nonvaccinated study participants. Overall, patients who received the vaccines cut nearly 45% off the time they spent on drug therapy.
Scientists at Italy's National Health Institute are planning a large-scale Phase II African study of its HIV vaccine that aims to stimulate an immune system response to HIV's tat gene. The trial should be finished by 2010 or 2011, researchers say. Earlier studies of the vaccine show it to produce anti-HIV activity in more than 80% of study subjects taking the compound.