Major HIV Vaccine Study Soon to Be Launched
"Barouch told MD Magazine the push for an HIV vaccine has been gaining momentum.
“We developed a consortium to advance this vaccine over the past several years,” he said. “We are very pleased that multiple funders, stakeholders, and collaborators have been very enthusiastic to work together to move this vaccine forward.”
The study is named “Imbokodo” — the Zulu word for “rock" — and is a reference to an African proverb that refers to the strength of women.
The vaccine regimen is based on mosaic immunogens, which are designed to create a buffer against various strains of HIV. The diversity of HIV strains has been 1 major hurdle in creating a vaccine for the disease. The regimen has already proven effective at stopping the transmission of an HIV-like virus in monkeys."
"At the one-year mark, the DNA vaccine was no longer effective, reports professor of medicine Dan Barouch, director of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Virology and Vaccine Research (CVVR) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center today in Science Translational Medicine (STM). The team, including CVVR’s Peter Abbink, Rafael Larocca, and other colleagues there and at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and at Bioqual, an animal-testing facility, did find that the vaccine based on an inactivated Zika virus (administered in two doses, four weeks apart) provided robust protection to 75 percent of rhesus monkeys after one year, a good result. But the third vaccine they had created—delivered by an adenovirus, the family that causes severe colds—proved even more effective, providing 100 percent protection to the monkeys with just a single immunization, even a year after administration."
"Healthy adults mounted strong immune responses after receiving an investigational whole inactivated Zika virus vaccine, according to interim analyses of three Phase 1, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials conducted at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), and Saint Louis University School of Medicine."
"On this day each year, MSMR recognizes the life-saving, life-changing work of everyone involved in biomedical and life science research and education. We thank them for dedicating their careers to making the world healthier. We also recognize outstanding contributors at a special honors luncheon to which all MSMR members are invited."
By: Cynthia Fernandez
It takes a cocktail of drugs to treat HIV. It could take a cocktail of antibodies to prevent HIV as well, suggests a study by Boston-based researchers published this week in Science Translational Medicine.
I spoke to researcher Dr. Dan Barouch, professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School (who recently published work on a 'mosaic' HIV vaccine as well.) Here’s our conversation, lightly edited.Read More
By: Aimee Cunningham
Science News, September 20th, 2017
Two new approaches — a one-two punch and a triple blow — stopped infection in monkeys
For certain HIV antibodies, having a buddy or two makes a big difference in the fight against the virus.
Combining the antibodies, called broadly neutralizing antibodies, may stop more strains of HIV than any single one can do alone, two new studies suggest. A “triple-threat” antibody molecule can bind to three different spots on the virus, researchers report online September 20 in Science. In Science Translational Medicine, a second team describes a cocktail of two single antibodies that each target a different region of the virus. Both methods prevented infection from multiple strains of an HIV-like virus in monkeys.Read More
By: Jamie Ducharme
Boston Magazine September 6th, 2017
Preliminary research may have found a “silver lining to Zika.”
The paper, published Tuesday in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, says the Zika virus—yes, the same mosquito-borne illness that causes the severe birth defect microcephaly in newborns—may be able to kill glioblastoma brain cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue.Read More
By Carey Goldberg
wbur July 26th, 2017
At a major international AIDS conference in Paris this week, researchers presented findings on a new HIV vaccine that look promising enough to launch a big clinical trial by the end of this year. That means it's still several years before the vaccine could come into widespread use, and that's in a best-case scenario. But still, in the monumentally frustrating world of HIV vaccines — or rather, the lack thereof — any good news is excellent news.
I spoke with Dr. Dan Barouch, professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, who is leading the research. Our conversation, edited:Read More
By Meera Senthilingham
CNN, July 25th, 2017
A new study found zero transmission of HIV between more than 370 homosexual couples. Preventing new infections while a vaccine is developed is key to controlling the epidemic.Read More
By Julia Belluz
Vox.com July 24th, 2017
The “mosaic vaccine” tackles the virus’s incredible genetic diversity.Read More
National Institutes of Health Press Release
Results from early-stage NIH-funded trial support further development of candidate vaccines.Read More
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Press Release
Mosaic-based vaccine includes characteristics from several common strains of HIV.
In the APPROACH multi-site, randomized and controlled study of 393 healthy people in five countries, investigational vaccines were well-tolerated and elicited antibody responses in 100 percent of volunteers.Read More
By Jennifer Graham
Johnson & Johnson, July 19th, 2017
As the International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science kicks off in Paris on July 23, we’re spotlighting researchers who've dedicated their life's work to tackling the epidemic in groundbreaking ways.
By: Matthew Disler
Harvard Magazine, May 8th, 2017
To understand the outbreak of a disease like Zika, and ultimately to fight it, researchers must work on multiple levels. There are questions of molecules and chemical processes: how does the virus infect a cell, and what components provoke an immune response that can be harnessed for treatments and vaccines? On a larger scale, there are questions about populations. How does a pathogen discovered in Uganda spread from French Polynesia to Brazil and the Caribbean? How do families and individuals cope with infants born with complications from the disease, like microcephaly (an abnormally small head size) and neurological damage, whose lasting effects still have not been fully determined? Harvard researchers have already made strides at all of these levels, and, as North America prepares for another outbreak this summer, now seek to answer further questions.Read More
A new study has demonstrated that combining an experimental vaccine with an innate immune stimulant may help lead to viral remission in people living with HIV. In animal trials, the combination decreased levels of viral DNA in peripheral blood and lymph nodes, and improved viral suppression and delayed viral rebound following discontinuation of anti-retroviral therapy (ART).Read More
By Hallie Smith
Boston Magazine, September 14th, 2016
The trial could start as early as October, doctors say.Read More