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NIH Rolls Out Clinical Trial Of HIV Vaccine

NIH Rolls Out Clinical Trial Of HIV Vaccine

NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the launch of Phase 1 clinical trial of a preventive HIV vaccine. 

The novel vaccine, VIR-1388, is known for its safety and ability to induce an HIV-specific immune response in people.

VIR-1388 is designed to instruct the immune system to produce T cells that can recognize HIV and signal an immune response to prevent the virus from establishing chronic infection.

“US NIH scientific advances continue to be vital to achieving our national goal of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030,” Assistant Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, posted.

CMV has been present in much of the global population for centuries. Most people living with CMV experience no symptoms and are unaware that they are living with the virus.

The trial, sponsored by San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology, will be conducted at six sites in the US and four in South Africa and will enroll 95 HIV-negative participants.

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of four study arms: three arms will each receive a different dose of the vaccine, and one will receive a placebo. To optimize participant safety, the study will only enroll people already living with asymptomatic CMV.

Initial results are expected in late 2024, and an optional long-term sub-study will continue to follow volunteers for up to three years after their first vaccine dose, the NIH said.

Clinical trials of an HIV vaccine using mRNA technology were announced by the NIH in March 2022. 

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 39 million people, including 1.5 million children, will be living with HIV by the end of 2022.  More than 40 million people have died from HIV-related illness since the epidemic began over 40 years ago.

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