The HIV Vaccine Gets a New Life


Though the U.S. government shut down recent clinical testing for an HIV vaccine in this country because it wasn’t exactly going well, our friends to the north have been working on their own vaccine that’s getting all our hopes up. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario think there could potentially be an HIV vaccine within five years and that it “holds tremendous promise.”

The second phase of human trials for the vaccine SAV001-H started this month in the United States after being approved late last year. Phase I was considered a success because there were “no adverse effects in all patients” who were given the vaccine, a group of 40 HIV positive individuals. All the trials are headed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang, who told the Ontario Business Report that with this vaccine, “We are using a totally different approach”:

Unlike the failed attempts that used just certain genes or proteins from the virus, the UWO vaccine uses the whole virus (HIV-1).
“We infect the cells with a genetically modified HIV-1,” explains Kang. “The infected cells produce lots of virus, which we collect, purify and inactivate so that the vaccine won’t cause AIDS in recipients, but will trigger immune responses.”

They’re calling this tactic the “killed whole virus vaccine” and it’s been used to develop other world famous vaccines like polio or the flu, so this new vaccine is at least in very famous company.

UWO researchers on the verge of a vaccine for HIV [OBR]

Image via Carolyn Kaster/AP

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