Oxford University launches clinical trial for the world’s first HIV vaccine

The University of Oxford has administered its first injections of a new HIV vaccine, known as HIVconsvX.

Phase 1 of the clinical HIV vaccine trial has begun at the University of Oxford. This vaccine is significantly different from other trials.

Lead researcher Tomáš Hanke explained that other potential vaccines work by inducing the B-cells in our blood to release antibodies.

Photo of Oxford University
Oxford University via Unsplash

HIVconsvX, instead has T-cells: a type of white blood cell that can kill virus-infected or cancerous cells.

The vaccine works by targeting these T-cells to the most vulnerable regions of the HIV virus.

The Phase 1 trial aims to measure the vaccine’s safety, the tolerability of any side effects, and overall effectiveness.

The vaccine is currently being administered to thirteen healthy, HIV-negative volunteers with a low risk of infection.

They will then receive a booster shot after four weeks.

Tomáš Hanke explained the significance of this scientific breakthrough.

“An effective HIV vaccine has been elusive for 40 years,” he said.

“This trial is the first in a series of evaluations of this novel vaccine strategy in both HIV-negative individuals for prevention and in people living with HIV for cure.”

The team of researchers aim to report the results by April of next year.