A team in Spain is currently testing a vaccine prototype that they say is “much more powerful” than any other HIV drugs currently available on the market.
The research is a joint effort between Mariano Esteban, of the National Biotechnology Center of Spain’s CSIC research council; Felipe Garcia, with Barcelona’s Clinic Hospital; and Juan Carlos Lopez Bernaldo de Quiros, with Madrid’s Gregorio Marañon Hospital.
The group first tested their new vaccine on mice and monkeys one year ago and have now moved on to 30 healthy people who were selected from among 370 volunteers.
Researchers performed a “random and double blind” test to avoid bias in their choice of subjects who would receive the vaccine and who would receive the placebo.
6 people received a placebo and 24 received the vaccine, researchers then determined that the vaccinated group only received “limited” and “slight” secondary effects making it safe for human consumption.
The group then found that ninety-five percent of patients who received the vaccine built up bodily defenses, far exceeding prior HIV vaccines which only showed bodily defenses building up in 25 percent of patients.
The new vaccine was also able to stimulate the production of cells or antibodies while vaccines in the past typically only stimulated one or the other.
The next step will be for researchers to perform a clinical trial on volunteers infected with HIV to see if the vaccine can also be used to treat HIV.
If successful the vaccine will help fight HIV subtype B which is most commonly found in Europe, South and Central American, the Caribbean and the United States.