China set to begin Phase II HIV vaccine trials

A vaccine containing the DNA of HIV is poised to enter a Phase II trial, making it the first vaccine of its kind to do so.

According to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the first Phase II human trial for a HIV vaccine will soon begin. This is one of the first vaccines under testing which contains the DNA of HIV.

The vaccine, called DNT-rTV, is reported to have lasting effects due to the HIV DNA it contains.

Shao Yiming, a chief HIV researcher at the centre, stated that the candidate vaccine relies on replication of the DNA of HIV to stimulate effective immunisation.

The researchers said: “With significant reduction of virulence, the vaccine will not cause infection in healthy receivers.”

The team testing the vaccine have said that the treatment is promising as it contains only parts of the virus’ DNA material so there is reduced risk of catching an infection. They also stated that the vaccine will be similar to the one used to combat smallpox.

Two Chinese hospitals have been prepared for the trial, which is set to enrol 160 patients. If successful, the trial will continue until 2021, when a Phase III trial will commence.

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