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A phase I/IIa clinical trial that the University of Oxford collaborated on has demonstrated that a T-cell therapeutic HIV vaccine was associated with better control of the virus rebound when antiretroviral therapy (ART) was temporarily withdrawn.

Artist's impression of an HIV virus

Researchers carrying out the AELIX-002 study, whose results have been published in Nature Medicine, reported that two fifths of participants without any genetic background associated with spontaneous HIV control were able to stay off ART for the six-month duration of the supervised ART pause.

The vaccine in the study – developed by AELIX Therapeutics – delivered the HIVACAT T-cell Immunogen (HTI) using a combination of DNA vector, modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vector and simian adenovirus vector ChAdOx1. The latter two vaccines were constructed at Oxford.

Tomáš Hanke, Professor of Vaccine Immunology at the Jenner Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, who leads on HIV vaccine development, said:

‘This result provides further encouragement that active immunization against HIV may be possible, slowing HIV replication, providing a window of treatment holidays for people living with HIV and eventually leading to HIV cure. T cells/T-cell vaccines are likely to play an important part in the final package for HIV cure and, perhaps, other advanced therapies for difficult diseases.’

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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