We may be a step closer to a vaccine against HIV — with no bad side effects.
The vaccine, called SAV001-H, didn’t show any adverse side effects and also seemed to boost the body’s antibody formation against the virus, according to the first results released from Phase 1 trials, Discovery News reported. The vaccine was developed by researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and Sumagen Canada.
According to a release on the Phase I trials from the university:
Sumagen announced today the patient enrollment has progressed smoothly and there have been no adverse effects observed including local reactions, signs/symptoms and laboratory toxicities after SAV001-H injection in all enrolled patients to date.
Now, the vaccine will go on to Phase II and III trials, which will show whether it is effective at actually making people immune to the virus that causes AIDS.
The Phase I study included adults ages 18 to 50 who have HIV; half were administered the vaccine, while the other half were given a placebo. The vaccine contained killed whole HIV-1 that had been genetically modified, researchers explained.
The study authors noted that this vaccine is unique in that it uses whole, killed virus, similar to polio and influenza vaccines.
This is not the only HIV vaccine in the works in the world. Spanish researchers are testing what is called the MVA-B vaccine, which was shown in early trials last year to reduce the power of HIV to a “minor chronic infection.”
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a pill to help prevent HIV in healthy people, called Truvada. The way it works is healthy people who may face a high risk of HIV — say, if their partner is infected — take the pill as a preventive measure to dramatically lower their risk of contracting the virus.