World AIDS DAY Part 4: EAVI2020’s research to a better future | Trial HIV-CORE 0051
Hi! I am Trial HIV-CORE 0051. I am a phase 1/2a open-label trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of candidate T-cell vaccines ChAdOx1.HTI and MVA.HTI given sequentially to healthy HIV-1/2 negative adult volunteers at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford. Our trial aims to establish the initial safety and immunogenicity of the candidate on the path towards a preventive use of this strategy and is complemented by a series of HIV cure trials in early-treated PLWH.
The HIV-CORE 0051 team including Dr Paola Cicconi (Principal Investigator) Prof Tomáš Hanke (Non-Clinical Principal Investigator), Dr Nicola Borthwick and Dr Edmund Wee (Immunology Laboratory Leads) and trial managers Dr Alison Crook and Ms Molly Glaze along with the many other team members that make up the HIV-CORE 0051 Trial team, in close collaboration with AELIX.
The trial evaluates a candidate T-cell vaccine, which are being developed by a biotech company, AELIX Therapeutics. The regimen utilizes a prime with engineered replication-deficient simian (chimpanzee) adenovirus vector ChAdOx1 followed by a heterologous boost with a replication-deficient poxvirus vector called MVA. Both vectors deliver protein HTI (HIVACAT T-cell Immunogen) designed to generate protective HIV-1-specific T-cell targeting vulnerable sites of HIV-1. The HTI design was informed by human data, whereby the HTI-specific T cells were associated with better viral control in more than 1,000 people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) within a broad HLA class I and class II allele coverage. The immunogen was designed by the team led by Professor Christian Brander and Dr Beatriz Mothe at the Institut de Recerca de la Sida – IrsiCaixa in Barcelona.
For the last decade, the HIV vaccine development has been almost entirely preoccupied with antibody-based protection, while the T-cell vaccines have been sadly ignored. It is only recently that highly rational T-cell strategies are being resurrected mainly in the context of HIV cure, where effective killer T cells will likely be key for drug-free HIV remission, perhaps even eradication. Current prevention focuses on behavioural and biomedical interventions and provision of antiretroviral drugs, however, an effective HIV-1 vaccine will help many people beyond the reach of today’s treatment and prevention options. Our trial which is aiming to understand the mechanisms and paths towards induction of protective T cells is therefore highly topical.
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For World AIDS Day 2021, the EAVI2020 clinicians and researchers are shedding a light on the EAVI2020 clinical trials that aim to help accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine. Every year on 1st December since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus. According to WHO, since the beginning of the pandemic, 36.3 million people have lost their lives and it was estimated that there were 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.
It is a day to remember those who have perished due to AIDS and that international research projects such as EAVI2020, are continuing the fight to find an effective vaccine for the HIV virus that has so far evaded eradication for the past 30+ years. Learn more about EAVI2020’s clinical trials and what the dedicated consortium of researchers and clinicians aim to achieve.