Human trials for a vaccine against HIV are now underway in the United States and Africa, and the proposed treatment uses ArV vaccine technology from RTP-based AlphaVax.

“The initiation of clinical trials with our technology marks a very
exciting milestone not just for those working on HIV vaccines but for the entire vaccine field,” said Peter Young, president and chief executive officer of AlphaVax, in a statement. “This kind of novel technology has the potential to reshape the vaccine marketplace,
and it is very gratifying to demonstrate that we can translate this state-of-the-art science into products whose promise can be tested and advanced in the clinic.”

Some 48 non-infected individuals will take place in the trials in both South Africa and the US. The target HIV strain is one that is prevalent in Africa. The HIV Vaccine Trials Network is conducting the trial. It receives funding from the National Institute of Allergy and

Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
UNC Chapel Hill also is involved in the project.

No live HIV is used in the vaccine, the company said.

According to AlphaVax, its ArV technology targets the human immune system and is able to trigger responses at the cellular level. AlphaVax says triggering cellular immunity holds the promise of providing immunity against diseases such as HIV.

AlphaVax also believes ArV has potential as a weapon to prevent cancer.

“In many pre-clinical disease models, vaccines using this technology
have generated a beneficial immune response that prevents or controls the target disease,” the company said.

Don Burke, MD, and a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University, is the principal investigator for the project.