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HIV Vaccine Research

MHRP is dedicated to developing a safe and globally effective HIV vaccine to protect our Armed Forces wherever they may be deployed.

2019 marked 10 years since the announcement of results from the Army-led RV144 “Thai Study,” the first clinical trial to show efficacy in preventing HIV infection. The trial showed the RV144 regimen lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31.2 percent compared to placebo. 

These study results showed that a preventive HIV vaccine is possible, and the landmark trial continues to provide scientific direction to help guide vaccine development and testing.  RV144 and its follow-on trials allowed researchers to discover correlates of risk, provided targets for optimizing vaccine boosting, and formed a foundation for the HIV vaccine candidates currently undergoing efficacy testing.

Planning for the Future

The Program continues to build upon the results of RV144, and has conducted studies on how to improve and sustain the efficacy seen in RV144. MHRP continues to pursue several vaccine strategies in the U.S., Africa and Thailand. MHRP helped develop and test a next-generation MVA vaccine candidate, a new adjuvant and a novel combination HIV-heroin vaccine.

We have been actively engaged with Ad26/mosaics vaccine candidates which are being tested in two other ongoing efficacy studies, HVTN 705 and HVTN 706. Our partner sites in Thailand and Uganda participated in an earlier Phase II trial of the Ad26/protein vaccine candidate, called the APPROACH trial, aimed at global protection from HIV. This studied showed promising immune responses and helped lead to the efficacy study that HVTN launched in 2017 called Imbokodo (HVTN 705). MHRP helped lead the initial animal studies that enabled the pathway to this vaccine efficacy study, and our team continues as collaborators on the Imbokodo team.

MHRP, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC), is part of a global partnership that recently launched Mosaico, another large-scale Phase 3 efficacy study of an investigational mosaic-based HIV-1 preventive vaccine. The study vaccines for both HVTN 7-5 and HVTN 706 are produced by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

MHRP researchers we are also actively pursuing other vaccine constructs, testing novel adjuvants developed (ALFQ) at MHRP and exploring fractional dosing.