Canadian HIV Vaccine Passes First Stage Of Human Testing

A Canadian biotech company’s HIV vaccine developed at the University of Western Ontario has made it through human testing with no observed complications or adverse reactions, according to a press release.

Sumagen Canada Inc and the University announced Tueday that the Phase I Clinical Trial of the first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus was successfully completed with no major side effects, and demonstrable positive results.

Mr. Jung-Gee Cho, the CEO of Sumagen Co. Ltd, said "[We] have proven that there is no safety concern of [the vaccine] in human administration. We are now prepared to take the next steps towards Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. We are opening the gate to pharmaceutical companies, government, and charity organization for collaboration to be one step closer to the first commercialized HIV vaccine."

According to MSN, Phase II will focus on the increase of antibodies, another promising sign from the study.

Sumagen received the green light from the FDA to begin testing in February 2012, according to the International Business Times.

“Unlike other attempts to create a cure, this experimental medicine uses the entire HIV virus to create a non-pathogenic version of the microbe, which doesn't cause HIV in recipients,” the IBT reported “Instead, the vaccine primes the body's T-cells to destroy any cells that become infected with HIV. This same strategy has been applied to other diseases like polio, rabies, hepatitis A and influenza.”

“In the past, people did not use this strategy because people did not know how to make a safer virus and people did not know how to make large quantities of it,” Dr. Chi-Young Kang, the lead researcher for the project, told IBT. “Now we have solved those problems by the genetic engineering of the virus.”

Sources: MSN, International Business Times


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