HIV vaccine shows 'encouraging' early results

J&J moves one step closer to a potential vaccine for HIV

The 2017 WHO HIV drug resistance report determined in six of the 11 countries surveyed in Africa, Asia and Latin America, over 10 percent of people starting antiretroviral therapy had a strain of HIV that was resistant to some of the most widely used HIV medications.

"The answer began with a single protein on HIV's surface that serves as a bnAb target - develop an antibody that recognises variants of this protein on different HIV viruses and you'll likely be protected from all of them", the study said.

For the next eight years the child didn't receive any antiretroviral medicine, but a follow-up analysis of stored blood samples taken during the interim showed that the virus had not returned. In comparison, standard ART pills worked for just 84% of recipients, University of North Carolina researcher Dr. Joseph Eron announced at the event. Called NC-Cow 1, it neutralised about two-thirds of a panel of diverse HIV isolates. The Foundation for Aids Research and HIV-prevention reportedly warned that the proposed budget cuts could disrupt treatment for over 1million people, leading to almost 150,000 Aids-related deaths.

The couples participating reported having sex nearly 17,000 times without condoms between them over four years, and none of those times resulted in new infections.

The phase 1/2a APPROACH study is one of dozens of trials being presented at the IAS Conference on HIV Science being held in Paris, and represents the next ambitious goal for beating the infection.

" This study results was important since we now have data showing the durability and tolerability of long acting viral suppression for a two drug regime out of 96 weeks", said Dr John Pottage, Chief scientist at ViiV health care and co-author of the study.

The constant mutation of the HIV virus makes it hard for a patient's immune systemto fight it. That group is using vaccine components from GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, testing the regimen in 5,400 sexually active men and women aged 18 to 35 who don't have the infection. The APPROACH findings, as well as results expected in late 2017 from another early-stage clinical trial called TRAVERSE, will form the basis of the decision whether to move forward with a larger trial in southern Africa to evaluate vaccine safety and efficacy among women at risk of acquiring HIV.

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But while the study shows promise, there are still many challenges to overcome until an effective HIV vaccine can be created.

"HIV is a human virus", said Devin Sok, a study leader and Antibody Discovery and Development Director at IAVI, "but researchers can certainly learn from immune responses across the animal kingdom".

According to Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the mosaic vaccine is another promising candidate but it is not certain if the vaccine will work against the virus and prevent the spread of the virus in humans.

HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and which can lead to the condition Aids, considered a later stage of HIV.

Seven different regimens of the vaccine were tested and all elicited an immune response and were well tolerated in the body.

Sector experts believe the American firm - which is better known for selling shampoo and baby lotion - is behind the world's most promising potential vaccine for the disease that afflicts 38m million people. In response, the immune system produces antibodies, a chemical response to the invader, as if it were being attacked.

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