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HIV Vaccine Trial Launches at Oxford University

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Another step closer to a decades-in-the-making vaccine.

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the U.K. have launched a phase 1 trial of a new vaccine that should target a range of HIV variants, according to PharmaTimes.

The trial, part of the European AIDS Vaccine Initiative, will feature 13 people between the ages of 18 and 65 who are not living with HIV and who researchers consider not at high risk of transmission.

Participants will receive a dose of the vaccine — known as HIVconsvX, according to PharmaTimes — and then a booster dose four weeks after.

The HIVconsvX vaccine is a mosaic vaccine and is designed to target the weakest areas of HIV in the body.

A mosaic vaccine is one that combines parts of a variety of HIV strains that are put in one shot to begin an immune response, according to Johnson & Johnson.

“An effective HIV vaccine has been elusive for 40 years,” Tomáš Hanke, the trial’s lead researcher and a professor of vaccine immunology at Oxford, said, according to the outlet. “This trial is the first in a series of evaluations of this novel vaccine strategy in both HIV-negative individuals for prevention and in people living with HIV for [a] cure.”

The researchers at Oxford plan to conduct similar trials elsewhere in Europe, North America, and Africa.

“Even in the broader context of increasing antiretroviral treatment and prevention, an HIV-1 vaccine remains the best solution and likely a key component to any strategy ending the AIDS epidemic,” Hanke said.

Results from the trial are expected by April 2022.

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