Spanish hospital to trial new HIV treatment

December 9, 2013

Researchers at a Spanish hospital announced Monday they will start trials next year of a therapeutic vaccine for patients who already have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

A therapeutic vaccine treats a disease rather than preventing it.

Barcelona's Hospital Clinic said it would conduct the trial as part of a four-year being carried out with other centres in Spain, Belgium and The Netherlands.

"The goal is to achieve a functional cure of HIV," said Josep Maria Gatell, director of the Hospital Clinic's infectious disease unit.

"This would mean that we are able to control HIV in infected people without having to provide them with anti-retroviral treatment their whole lives," he told a news conference.

More than 30 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, most of them living in developing countries, Gatell said.

"Although combined anti-retroviral therapy has proven to be highly effective to prevent clinical progression and death, by itself it is unable to eradicate the infection and other alternative approaches are urgently needed," he added.

The research project has received six million euros ($8.2 million) in funding from the EU's executive European Commission.

The trial is being conducted on an updated version of a vaccine unveiled by the same research team in January 2013 which was found to temporarily brake growth of the HIV virus in infected .

That vaccine was tested on 36 people carrying the virus and was found to be safe for humans.

It led to a dramatic drop in the amount of HIV detected in some patients but it lost its effectiveness after a year, when the patients had to return to their regular combination therapy of expensive anti-retroviral drugs.

The vaccine, dubbed VIH-TriMix-ARNm, is based on the patient's own RNA, a nucleic acid in all living cells which conveys genetic information. RNA is also being used to try to develop new treatments against cancer.

Researchers have tested the updated vaccine on animals and the first results will be known during the first half of 2014.

After carrying out toxicity tests on people in 2014, the first phase of clinical trials in humans will begin at the Hospital Clinic in 2015. The aim is to determine the appropriate dose and the vaccine's safety.

If the vaccine passes this phase, researchers will start testing its effectiveness on 40 patients and two control groups of 15 people each in either 2016 or 2017.

Explore further: Scientists say vaccine temporarily brakes HIV

Related Stories

Scientists say vaccine temporarily brakes HIV

January 3, 2013
A team of Spanish researchers say they have developed a therapeutic vaccine that can temporarily brake growth of the HIV virus in infected patients.

Video: Potential AIDS vaccine targets blood, mucosal tissue

November 27, 2013
December 1st is the annual World AIDS Day, a perfect opportunity to look at how medical research is progressing to fight the disease.

Experimental HIV vaccine targets virus envelope protein

November 27, 2013
AIDS research has investigated many strategies to tackle the HIV virus. Now, a new type of vaccine developed within the EU-funded project EuroNeut-41, targets an HIV envelope protein called the gp41. The protein is directly ...

Scientists begin potential HIV cure trials

November 27, 2013
Scientists and clinicians from five leading UK universities, including King's College London, will begin a groundbreaking trial next year to test a possible cure for HIV infection.

HIV vaccines elicit immune response in infants

October 8, 2013
A new analysis of two HIV vaccine trials that involved pediatric patients shows that the investigational vaccines stimulated a critical immune response in infants born to HIV-infected mothers, researchers at Duke Medicine ...

Two new HIV vaccine candidates: Q&A with Nicolas Mouz

November 27, 2013
European researchers have designed two new vaccine candidates to fight the HIV virus. These have been developed within the EU-funded project EURONEUT 41. They work by targeting the mechanism of HIV entry into the body via ...

Recommended for you

Paris spotlight on latest in AIDS science

July 21, 2017
Some 6,000 HIV experts gather in Paris from Sunday to report advances in AIDS science as fading hopes of finding a cure push research into new fields.

Scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves

July 20, 2017
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine ...

Heart toxin reveals new insights into HIV-1 integration in T cell genome

July 20, 2017
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 may have evolved to integrate its genetic material into certain immune-cell-activating genes in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Scientists capture first high-resolution image of key HIV protein transitional state

July 13, 2017
A new, three-dimensional snapshot of HIV demonstrates the radical structural transformations that enable the virus to recognize and infect host cells, according to a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute ...

Barrier to autoimmune disease may open door to HIV, study suggests

July 11, 2017
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have discovered that a process that protects the body from autoimmune disease also prevents the immune system from generating antibodies that can neutralize the ...

Team tests best delivery mode for potential HIV vaccine

June 20, 2017
For decades, HIV has successfully evaded all efforts to create an effective vaccine but researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) are steadily inching ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.