AIDS vaccine trial opens in India

India started the country's second Phase I AIDS vaccine trial recently in Chennai to determine the safety and immunogenicity of a modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccine candidate at varying doses. This trial will enroll and follow 32 volunteers at the Tuberculosis Research Centre over 2 years.

The vaccine candidate, TBC-M4, uses a weakened and non-infectious MVA virus as a vector to deliver HIV fragments to the immune system, but importantly the candidate can not cause HIV infection because only part of the virus is used. The fragments included in the candidate are from clade C HIV, which is the predominant virus circulating in India and China, as well as parts of Africa. Researchers and an independent advisory board will evaluate the safety of the candidate at the low dose before administering a higher dose to volunteers in this trial.

IAVI is sponsoring the trial in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National AIDS Control Organization of India. Therion Biologics, a US-based biotechnology company, is manufacturing the vaccine.

India is also conducting another Phase I AIDS vaccine trial with a different vaccine candidate that began last year and is ongoing at the National AIDS Research Institute in Pune.

All articles written by Kristen Jill Kresge