Skip to NavigationSkip to content

Cuba begins Phase 1 testing of HIV vaccine

Published on 27/02/17 at 09:43am

Cuba has announced that it has begun testing a HIV vaccine that looks to reduce the ‘payload’ of the virus within the patients. The study will examine a small number of patients to determine the safety of the vaccine.

Previous pre-clinical trials in animals and small studies involving humans have found that the vaccine boosted the immune response to the virus whilst not displaying any adverse effects of toxicity. The previous study in humans only involved nine patients but was able to reduce the levels of HIV virus in the patient’s blood.

The vaccine is able to be administered nasally, orally and can be delivered through a spray and injection. The vaccine improves the immune response by the use of TERAVAC-VIH.

Those involved in the research were keen to stress that it is not a cure – it will only reduce the payload as opposed to a complete removal of the virus. The process, currently at Phase 1, could also take a long time to reach widespread use, with researchers stating that it will be a multi-year process.

However, it builds on Cuba’s leading work in the field. It was recognised by the World Health Organisation as the first country to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. This was achieved through comprehensive prenatal care for mother, which included testing for HIV and syphilis, in the struggle to reduce the incidence of both illnesses. It resulted in only 2 children being born with HIV in 2013 and only 5 born with syphilis.

The goal for the vaccine is to replace the current method of treatment, which is the tripartite therapy. The potential benefits over the current method could be the lack of toxicity displayed in early trials of the vaccine.

Ben Hargreaves

Mission Statement is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches