06/16/11 Portland, Ore.
Non-human primate studies reveal promising vaccine approach for HIV
As the AIDS epidemic turns 30 this month, news outlets are looking to both the past and the future in the long, complex battle to develop a vaccine.The importance of this research is demonstrated by the worldwide coverage it has already received.
The research team, led by Louis Picker, MD, Associate Director, OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and Director of the VGTI’s vaccine program, produced a vaccine candidate that programs the immune system of non-human primates to respond more swiftly to the presence of a primate version of HIV than it normally would. The team also included researchers from the National Cancer Institute-Frederick and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
The team's findings are published in the journal Nature, in a paper titled, “Profound early control of highly pathogenic SIV by an effector memory T-cell vaccine."
A recent OHSU media release includes video of Dr. Picker explaining the significance of these findings.
Louis Picker, MD
"The next step in vaccine development is to test the vaccine candidate in clinical trials in humans. For a human vaccine the CMV vector would be weakened sufficiently so that it does not cause illness, but will still protect against HIV."