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New HIV/AIDS Vaccine could be the cure

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A newly developed vaccine has the ability to completely kill simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in non-human primates, according to scientists at Oregon Health & Science University’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute.
Following further development, it is hoped an HIV-form of the vaccine can soon be tested in humans.
“To date, HIV infection has only been cured in a very small number of highly-publicized but unusual clinical cases in which HIV-infected individuals were treated with anti-viral medicines very early after the onset of infection or received a stem cell transplant to combat cancer,” said Dr Louis Picker, who is a senior author of the study published online in the journal Nature.
“This latest research suggests that certain immune responses elicited by a new vaccine may also have the ability to completely remove HIV from the body.”


And since it works on monkeys, they began human testing:



Pharmaceutical company Sumagen Canada announced yesterday the successful completion of a Phase 1 Clinical Trial of SAV001-H, a vaccine against HIV and AIDS. The trial ran for over a year, from March 2012 through last month, and was designed to test the "safety, tolerability and immune responses" of the drug in real live human subjects. Phase 1 trials are the point at which researchers go from seeing whether their drugs work in animals to making sure that they don't do weird and bad stuff to people, so the stakes are obviously very high. SAV001-H passed flawlessly: in the randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled study of HIV-infected, asymptomatic men and women, there were "no serious adverse event," meaning that Phase 2 trials (seeing how well the vaccine actually works) can come next.

SAV001-H is what's called a "killed whole virus vaccine," meaning that it includes actual HIV viruses. This sounds like something that you don't want to get injected with, but as part of the vaccine-making process, the live HIV viruses are genetically re-engineered to eliminate pathogenicity, chemically treated, and then irradiated with gamma rays to make sure that they're dead dead dead. While other HIV/AIDS vaccines that haven't used killed whole viruses (relying instead on targeting specific components of HIV) have failed in Phase 3 trials, Sumagen is optimistic about their drug because other successful vaccines (including polio, influenza, rabies, and hepatitis A) work on the same principle.


This could be a major breakthrough and possible cure for HIV/AIDS. Very impressive. I hope it works out.


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