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Pharmexa-Epimmune initiates Phase I AIDS vaccine trial

Pharmexa-Epimmune, a US subsidiary of a Danish vaccine and immunotherapy company, recently initiated a Phase I AIDS vaccine trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of two candidate vaccines that will be tested either alone or in combination. This trial will enroll 124 volunteers at 3 sites in the US and in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in partnership with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN).

The first candidate, known as EP HIV-1090, is a DNA plasmid vaccine that has already undergone testing in human volunteers while the second, EP-1043, is a protein vaccine designed to induce cellular immunity. Neither candidate can cause HIV infection. In the first part of this trial volunteers will be randomly selected to receive either a low or high dose of EP-1043 to determine which is optimal. In the second part of the trial researchers will be comparing the safety and immune responses generated by EP-1043 and EP HIV-1090 alone or in combination. Volunteers will be randomized to receive four inoculations of either vaccine candidate or four injections of both.

This trial is sponsored by the US National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within the National Institutes of Health and the vaccines are being manufactured by Pharmexa-Epimmune.