US Army begins small Phase I trial

In May the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) began a US-based Phase I trial of a preventive AIDS vaccine candidate based on technology developed by Avant Immunotherapeutics. The vaccine, called LFn-p24, combines a small protein taken from the anthrax bacterium with an HIV protein (Gag). Although live anthrax bacterium and HIV can both cause serious illness and death, the small fragments used in this vaccine candidate cannot cause these infections or diseases. Both fragments were selected for their ability to stimulate immune responses that might possibly protect against HIV infection. The trial will enroll 18 healthy HIV-uninfected volunteers and is being conducted by WRAIR in collaboration with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.