“HIV/AIDS has killed 35 million people worldwide, and more than 34 million people currently live with the virus infection. Since the virus was characterized in 1983, there have been numerous trials through pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions around the world to develop vaccines; however, no vaccine has been successful to date.”
Researchers from Western University in Canada and Sumagen Canada Inc have successfully completed Phase I Clinical Trial of (SAV CT 01) the first and only preventative HIV vaccine that is based on a genetically modified killed whole virus (SAV001-H) has shown to be successful in all patients with no adverse side-effects.
The vaccine is a prophylactic vaccine, meaning that is not a cure for people who are already living with the HIV/AIDS virus; but a preventative treatment for individuals that have not been infected by the HIV virus. In an interview, Dr. Chil-Yong Kang explains that the vaccine could be beneficial in suppressing the virus in people who are already have HIV or with hepatitis C.
“Other HIV vaccines evaluated through human clinical trials have focused on either one specific component of HIV as an antigen, genetic vaccine using recombinant DNA, or recombinant viruses carrying the HIV genes. Kang’s vaccine is unique in that it uses a killed whole HIV-1, much like the killed whole virus vaccines for polio, influenza, rabies and hepatitis A. The HIV-1 is genetically engineered so it is safer and can be produced in large quantities.”
Scientist are optimistic about the results from the Phase I trials, because the vaccine boosted the antibody production in HIV-positive volunteers, which raises suspicion that Phase 2 human clinical trials will yield a substantial increased immune systems response to the HIV virus.
"We have proven that there is no safety concern of SAV001-H in human administration and we are now prepared to take the next steps towards Phase II and Phase III clinical trials," said Dr. Dong Joon Kim in the official release. "We are delighted to be one step closer to the first commercialized HIV vaccine."
“Sumagen anticipates not only having the first HIV vaccine in market but also the eradication of HIV/AIDS for human beings.”