The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced that the AIDS vaccine developed in India proved successful in the phase-1 of clinical trials, had acceptable levels of safety and was well tolerated.
The trial, which was conducted in Chennai, relied on MVA based AIDS vaccine candidate (TBC-M4).
The proportion of volunteers whose immune systems responded to the vaccine candidate suggests the candidate holds promise.
The trial used two doses of the MVA. After three injections, 82 percent of the volunteers who received a low dose and 100 percent of those who received a high dose registered immune responses to the vaccine.
The 100 percent response rate is greater than that seen with the majority of AIDS vaccine candidates tested in humans to date. However the strength and diversity of these immune responses were modest.
It may be possible to boost the immune response, if this vaccine is used in combination with other candidate AIDS vaccines.
"We are pleased to see that the MVA-based candidate tested in Chennai was safe and showed promising initial immune responses. We do not know whether these observed responses will ultimately translate into an effective vaccine that will help protect individuals from HIV infection, but hope to learn more through further testing," said Dr. S K Bhattacharya, Additional Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
"India is playing a significant role in global AIDS vaccine discovery efforts given our strong medical and scientific capabilities. There is a need for continued efforts for the creation of novel, reliable mechanisms for long-term research on AIDS vaccines and other new prevention technologies," he added.