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MHRP in the News: September 2011
On September 13, 2011, COL Jerome Kim, MHRP, and Dr. Bart Haynes, Duke University, presented two plenary sessions at the AIDS Vaccine conference on the discovery work related to correlates studies on the RV144 trial. The following is a roundup of the subsequent media coverage of MHRP and/or the RV144-related correlates studies (headline, excerpt, and link to story):
AIDS vaccine researchers say they have some new clues to help focus their search for a safe and effective vaccine against HIV. At the AIDS Vaccine conference in Bangkok on Tuesday, scientists announced an update to a Thai trial of a "modestly effective" experimental AIDS vaccine.
Immune responses of patients could point way forward for future vaccines.In the latest study, researchers involved with the trial at Mahidol University in Bangkok and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program in Washington DC assembled a team to scour the blood of trial participants for immune indicators that differed between 41 people who received the vaccine and contracted HIV and 205 participants who did not become infected. Their work isn't complete, but so far the team has found two molecular clues to explain why the vaccine prevented HIV for some but not others.
After 2 years of analyzing the results of the largest AIDS vaccine clinical trial ever held – called RV144 - researchers say they have found 2 ways the immune system can respond, which could predict whether those inoculated will be protected or are more likely to become infected with HIV. "What we now have are clues, why it might work," Dr. Carl Dieffenbach. "Something we haven't had over the last 30 years, so that's very important."
We don't yet have a blueprint for an effective vaccine to roll-out. But, as presented this week in Bangkok, the complex success of the RV144 analysis, combined with a flurry of advances in understanding the development of broadly-neutralizing antibodies against HIV, show that the science of an AIDS vaccine is vibrant and vital.
Hundreds of HIV vaccine scientists attending the 2011 Aids Vaccine conference in Bangkok, Thailand have said the stage is now set to design a safe and effective vaccine.
Voice of America
…success in 2009 of the RV-144 trial in Thailand. It proved that an AIDS vaccine is possible. It was the largest AIDS vaccine trial ever, with thousands of participants.
Novel Antibody Response May Explain HIV Vaccine Success
Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—the main funder of the $105 million study—agrees that the V1/V2 binding antibody is “an interesting potential correlate.” …Three small trials of the same vaccines will start in Thailand during the next year; they should further clarify the role of V1/V2 antibodies in protection, COL Jerome Kim says. Lawrence Corey, who heads the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center said “it's a wonderful surprise.”
Sanjay Gurunathan, representing a partnership of researchers, pharmaceutical companies and funders aimed at taking RV144 forward, said there had been some exciting post-trial analysis. "In the first year of the trial, the vaccine protected 60 percent of people from HIV infection, but this effect waned over time to 31 percent," said Gurunathan. "We think we might be able to increase this effect to 50 percent by boosting people's immune systems further."
Sanjay Gurunathan from Sanofi Pasteur, manufacturer of one of the vaccines used in RV144, said a new partnership of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, HIV Vaccine Trials Network, US Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), and Sanofi Pasteur – known as the Pox Protein Public Private Partnership, or P5 – will aim to increase vaccine efficacy from the 31.2 percent of the RV144 trial to 50 percent.
Kaiser Family Foundation
"After two years of analyzing the results of the largest AIDS vaccine clinical trial ever held -- called RV144 -- researchers say they have found two ways the immune system can respond, which could predict whether those inoculated will be protected or are more likely to become infected with HIV."
New optimism for HIV/AIDS Eradicating Vaccine
A new partnership has been unveiled at the opening of the AIDS Vaccine conference in Thailand which will support and propel further research for an HIV and AIDS vaccine….the partnership will build on the Thai RV144 groundbreaking trial which was conducted from October 2003 to 2009.
Science Speaks Blog
At the first plenary session of AIDS Vaccine 2011, which opened this morning in Bangkok, Thailand, researchers presented the results of a two-year-long effort to try to identify an immunological explanation for the modest 31% efficacy afforded by the prime-boost vaccine regimen tested in the RV144 trial, the first to show any efficacy in protecting against HIV infection.
Is there a cure for HIV? Not yet. However, the scientific community world over is excited regarding the new discovery of certain biomarkers that would provide clue to improve the efficacy of HIV vaccines.