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HIV Vaccine Research

MHRP is dedicated to developing a safe and globally effective HIV vaccine to protect our Armed Forces wherever they may be deployed.

2019 marks 10 years since the announcement of results from the Army-led RV144 “Thai Study,” the first clinical trial to show efficacy in preventing HIV infection. The trial showed the RV144 regimen lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31.2 percent compared to placebo. 

These study results showed that a preventive HIV vaccine is possible, and the landmark trial continues to provide scientific direction to help guide vaccine development and testing.  RV144 and its follow-on trials allowed researchers to discover correlates of risk, provided targets for optimizing vaccine boosting, and formed a foundation for the HIV vaccine candidates currently undergoing efficacy testing.

Planning for the Future

The Program continues to build upon the results of RV144, and has conducted studies on how to improve and sustain the efficacy seen in RV144. MHRP continues to pursue several vaccine strategies in the U.S., Africa and Thailand. MHRP helped develop and test a next-generation MVA vaccine candidate, a new adjuvant and a novel combination HIV-heroin vaccine.

Our partner sites in Thailand and Uganda participated in a Phase II trial of a next generation Ad26/protein vaccine candidate, called the APPROACH trial, aimed at global protection from HIV. This studied showed promising immune responses and helped lead to a new efficacy study that HVTN launched in 2017 called Imbokodo. The study vaccines are Ad26.Mos4.HIV (Ad26 vaccine) and Clade C gp140 (protein vaccine),which are produced by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. MHRP helped lead the initial animal studies that enabled the pathway to this vaccine efficacy study, and our team continues as collaborators on the Imbokodo team.

MHRP researchers are also developing and testing novel vaccine strategies, including new adjuvants and improved protein constructs aimed at subtype B, which is common in the Americas, West and Central Europe, Australia, South America and Thailand. New clinical trial sites and partnerships are in development for future HIV vaccine studies in Germany.