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The multisite Phase I HIV-CORE 006 HIV vaccine clinical trial, run by the Globally Relevant AIDS Vaccine Europe-Africa Trials Partnership (GREAT), has concluded successfully.

Artist's impression of an HIV virus

Preliminary analysis of the immunological trial results demonstrates the induction of high frequencies of broadly specific T cells that recognise functionally conserved regions on HIV-1 and are therefore more protective.

Not all T cells are equally protective, and the T cells induced by this vaccine candidate, also called killer T cells, are underutilized in natural HIV-1 infection. Furthermore, the killer T cells the vaccine candidate induced in this trial were capable of inhibiting four major global HIV clades: A, B, C and D. Further analyses are ongoing with the first results expected to be submitted for a publication later this year. All the components of the vaccine candidate were well tolerated by the participants with no serious adverse events reported.

Professor Tomáš Hanke, Professor of Vaccine Immunology at the Nuffield Department of Medicine's Jenner Institute, the consortium coordinator and lead researcher on the trial, said: 'Over the tenure of this consortium, the study team have evaluated a highly rational, bioinformatics-assisted vaccine design to address the enormous variability of HIV-1 – one of the greatest challenges to the development of an effective vaccine against HIV/AIDS. The analysis so far indicates the induction of strong and multi-specific T-cell responses that recognise several vulnerable parts of proteins common to most HIV variants in each individual at the same time – targeting HIV where it hurts.'

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website. 

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