The Phase I/IIa trial enrolled 393 healthy volunteers. According to the data, the vaccine was well-tolerated and triggered an HIV antibody response in 100% of participants.
“Finding a preventive vaccine has proven to be one of the biggest scientific challenges in the 35-year quest to end the HIV pandemic. A successful preventive vaccine for HIV will need to provide broad protection against a wide range of viral strains,” Dan Barouch, from Harvard Medical School, said in prepared remarks. “These promising, early-stage results suggest that these vaccines utilizing mosaic immunogens should be evaluated further for their potential ability to achieve this historic goal.”
Researchers have long struggled to develop a vaccine against HIV, because the virus boasts powerful genetic diversity and changes rapidly.
But “mosaic-based” vaccines, made up of immunogens from genes of various HIV subtypes, are designed to prime and enhance a patient’s immune system to produce strong, lasting immunity against the virus.
In preclinical trials, prevention methods using mosaic vaccines protected against infection from an HIV-like virus, according to Johnson & Johnson.
Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson said, “In recent years, a new optimism has emerged that we will find an effective HIV vaccine in our lifetime. The results from today’s study add to that belief and we look forward to advancing to the next stage of clinical development as quickly as possible,” Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer, said.