In an effort to mitigate the HIV virus, Johnson & Johnson has a HIV vaccine candidate that was deemed promising.
Unfortunately this week the company announced that the candidate failed to provide sufficient protection against infection.
J&J said its Imbokodo study posed no safety concerns, but will not continue. The study enrolled approximately 2,600 young women across five countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a region where women and girls accounted for 63 percent of all new HIV infections in 2020.
The company’s investigational HIV vaccine was manufactured using a strain of common-cold virus engineered to not cause illness and was administered to participants through four vaccination
visits over a year.
“While we are disappointed that the vaccine candidate did not provide a sufficient level of protection against HIV infection in the Imbokodo trial, the study will give us important scientific findings in the ongoing pursuit for a vaccine to prevent HIV,” Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement.
The vaccine used basically the same technology as Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine.
“We continue to stand in solidarity with people living with and vulnerable to HIV, and remain committed to furthering our research against this devastating virus,” added Stoffels.
The study was first launched in 2017 and had been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
As part of the study, 63 of 1,109 volunteers in the placebo group developed HIV, while 51 of the 1,079 volunteers who received the vaccine developed HIV.
“The development of a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection has proven to be a formidable scientific challenge,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said in a statement.
“Although this is certainly not the study outcome for which we had hoped, we must apply the knowledge learned from the Imbokodo trial and continue our efforts to find a vaccine that will be protective against HIV.”
Disclaimer: We have no position in any of the companies mentioned and have not been compensated for this article.