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Post Info TOPIC: AIDS breakthrough as Vaccine cuts infection risk

AIDS breakthrough as Vaccine cuts infection risk

Writer: AFP  Published: 24/09/2009 at 02:01 PM

An experimental AIDS vaccine has for the first time cut the risk of infection in a "breakthrough" in the quarter-century battle against the deadly epidemic, researchers said on Thursday.

The vaccine reduced the risk of being infected by almost a third, they said after the world's largest vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers, carried out by the US Army and Thailand's Ministry of Public Health.

"It is the first demonstration that a vaccine against HIV can protect against infection," Colonel Jerome Kim of the US military HIV research programme told a news conference in Bangkok via videolink.

"This is a very important scientific advance and gives us hope that a globally effective vaccine may be possible in the future," he said.

The vaccine was a combination of two older shots that had not reduced infection on their own, and the researchers said they were now studying why the two vaccines apparently worked together.

The study combined the canarypox vaccine ALVAC, manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis of France, and AIDSVAX, originally made by VaxGen Inc and now licensed to Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases.

"The outcome represents a breakthrough in HIV vaccine development because for the first time ever there is evidence that HIV vaccine has preventative efficacy," said a statement released by the researchers.

"The vaccine has a 31.2 percent efficacy in reducing the risk of HIV infection."

It was tested on volunteers -- all HIV negative men and women aged from 18 to 30 -- at average risk of infection in two Thai provinces near Bangkok starting in October 2003.

Half received the vaccine and the rest were given a placebo. Out of the placebo recipients 74 of 8,198 became infected compared with 51 of 8,197 who got the vaccine.

Thai Public Health Minister Witthaya Kaewparadai said the "outcome of this study is a scientific breakthrough."

AIDS first came to public notice in 1981 and has since killed at least 25 million people worldwide, and 33 million others are living with AIDS or the HIV virus.

Swift progress in identifying the virus that caused it unleashed early optimism that a vaccine would quickly emerge. HIV destroys immune cells and exposes the body to opportunistic disease.

But out of the 50 candidates that have been evaluated among humans, only two vaccines have made it through all three phases of trials, and both were flops. About 30 vaccines remain in the pipeline.

US ambassador to Thailand Eric John told the news conference in Bangkok that the vaccine trial had "incredible conclusions and brought us one step closer to an HIV vaccine".

He said more research was needed to find out why the combination of the two previously ineffective vaccines worked, but added that the results had "important implications" for a future vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis, said the trials were the "first concrete demonstration" that a vaccine "could one day become a reality."

"Although modest, the reduction in risk of infection by HIV is statistically significant," said Michel DeWilde, senior vice president for research and development at Sanofi Pasteur.

In New York, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), an organisation that promotes the search for a vaccine, said the trial results were "very exciting and a significant scientific achievement."

"It's the first demonstration that a candidate AIDS vaccine provides benefit in humans. Until now, we've had evidence of feasibility for an AIDS vaccine in animal models," IAVI president Seth Berkley said in a statement.

Earlier this month in a study published in the journal Science, US researchers said they had discovered two powerful new antibodies which could hold the key to achieving a viable AIDS vaccine.



maybe they used condom that is why it reduced



Anonymous wrote:

maybe they used condom that is why it reduced

But those heros both men and women are using Vaccines as volunteers. I don't think they will use condom.

But the efficacy testing on human works only 31.2% it's a good news fr people around the world. This is the first time for the world to get this percentage. So I hope soon they will make it 100% soon

I'm happy for Thailand medical lab that they are the first lab in the world who can make it eventhough it's not 100% yet

So in the future we have no need to use condom anymore. Everytime I'm using comdom I feel uncomfortable. I prefered raw sex

But anyway, HIV is not the last desease in the world so there are so many new one are coming up next




WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An experimental AIDS vaccine made from two failed products has protected people for the first time, reducing the rate of infection by about 30 percent, researchers said on Thursday.

Developers said they were now debating how to test the limited amounts of vaccine they have left to find out if there are ways to make it work better.

Scientists said they were unsure how or why the vaccines worked when used together in the trial, which took place in Thailand, and will study the volunteers to find out.

All agreed that a commercial product would be years away but the U.N. World Health Organization said the result created new hope that an effective vaccine would eventually be found.

"The result of the study is a very important step for developing an AIDS vaccine," Thai health minister Withaya Kaewparadai told a news conference in Bangkok. "It's the first time in the world that we have found a vaccine that can prevent HIV infection."

Activists and researchers alike were thrilled. "The outcome is very exciting news and a significant scientific achievement," said Dr. Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, which was not involved in this study. "It's the first demonstration that a candidate AIDS vaccine provides benefit in humans.

The vaccine is a combination of Sanofi-Pasteur's ALVAC canary pox/HIV vaccine and the failed HIV vaccine AIDSVAX, made by a San Francisco company called VaxGen and now owned by the nonprofit Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases.

The trial was sponsored by the U.S. government and conducted by the Thai Ministry of Public Health. It cut the risk of infection by 31.2 percent among 16,402 volunteers over three years.

"We had 74 infections in the placebo group and 51 in the vaccine group," Dr. Jerome Kim, a U.S. Army colonel at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, who helped lead the trial, said by telephone.

The results were a triumph for supporters, who went ahead with the giant trial despite criticism it was unethical or a waste of money because the vaccine was widely expected to have no effect.

The AIDS virus infects an estimated 33 million people globally and has killed 25 million since it was identified in the 1980s. It affects immune cells called T-cells.

****tails of drugs can control HIV but there is no cure. In 2007, Merck & Co ended a trial of its vaccine after it was found not to work, and in 2003, AIDSVAX used alone was found to offer no protection, either.


The Geneva-based World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, or UNAIDS, stressed the effects of the vaccine in the Thailand test were modest.

"However, these results have instilled new hope in the HIV vaccine research field and promise that a safe and highly effective HIV vaccine may become available for populations throughout the world who are most in need of such a vaccine," they said.

Sanofi shares rose as much as 1.6 percent in early trade in Paris but closed down slightly at 50 euros.

"We see no commercial vaccine available for some time yet, but the prospect has finally been raised (after 30 years of trying) that an effective vaccine is possible," said Michael Lea****, an analyst at ABN AMRO research.

"What is needed here is more in-depth analysis," Sanofi's Jim Tartaglia told a briefing. Dr. Donald Francis of Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases said the companies had limited amounts of vaccine left to test and would have to make more.

"For me the biggest question is, how do you take what we know of this vaccine and give it greater protective power. Once you know that, then it makes sense to go to other parts of a population," Sanofi's Chris Viehbacher told Reuters.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which paid for most of the $105 million trial, said the team was confused because people who got the vaccine and who became infected anyway had just as much virus in their blood and just as much damage to their immune systems as HIV patients who went unvaccinated.

That meant the vaccine helped prevent infection but did nothing to affect the virus once it is in the body.

In addition, the immune responses that were generated by the vaccine should not, in theory, have protected anyone. Fauci said AIDS researchers may have to go back and see if they have been looking at the wrong things when checking the immune response to potential HIV vaccines.

Kim said the vaccine might not work in the people and places where HIV is most common -- in Africa, among men who have sex with men and among injecting drug users.

The vaccine was formulated specifically to work against two subtypes of the human immunodeficiency virus -- clade E, which circulates in Thailand and Southeast Asia, and clade B, common in the United States and Europe.

The volunteers in the trial got six shots over six months, four with ALVAC and two with AIDSVAX.

ALVAC is a genetically engineered canarypox virus that has spliced into it synthetic versions of three HIV genes. AIDSVAX is made using two versions of one HIV gene, one from the B subtype and one from the E subtype.

(Additional reporting by Caroline Jacobs in Paris, Thin Lei Win in Bangkok and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by David Storey)




But it doesn't mean you no need to protect yourself as you thought that we found the Vaccine. The Vaccine working just 30 % and even 80%-90% doesn't mean that the Vaccine can help to protect you if you don't know how to safe sex and you Sii-kan Boh Leuk Nah

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