Cuba Begins Clinical Trial of HIV Vaccine

February 26, 2017

A therapeutic vaccine aimed at reducing the viral load of patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is currently in phase one of a clinical trial, in which its safety is being studied.

According to Yayri Caridad Prieto Correa, a researcher from the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) in Havana said that the nine patients involved in the trial did not show any adverse side effects or toxicity, which is the main objective of the phase.

After preclinical studies in laboratory animals, and tests in the small group of humans, it was shown that the immune response of the organism is enhanced thanks to the use of the vaccine, although Prieto Correa insisted it was too early expectations too high.

She told the Cuban News Agency that this is a multi-year project, and will take time and will include testing phases with a greater number of seropositives in which large-scale and comprehensive effects will be tested to determine whether or not to continue with its use.

Prieto Correa emphasized that the country’s scientific institutions, and in particular the CIGB should keep the search for vaccine possibilities against HIV among its research priorities, although prevention is still the main method of avoiding any contagion.

She added that the goal is to replace the current tripartite therapy that combines several medicines that prevent the development of HIV. This treatment has had limited effectiveness because the retroviral inhibitors that blocks the spread of the virus can also cause serious side effects that in some cases causes the suspension of the treatment for a time.

The proposal presented by Prieto Correa and a team of researchers at the first Congress BioProcess 2017, which takes place in Camaguey, shows signs of effectiveness however she noted that it does not cure the disease.

Its administration is carried out simultaneously through the mucosal route, with the use of spray and intramuscular vaccination, and it has been preliminarily verified that it diminishes the viral load in the CD8 cells.

According to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health 31 years after the first case of HIV, transmitted by blood and mother-to-child transmission have been eliminated.

Source: Jamaica Observer