VaxGen AIDSVAX vaccine fails in Thailand

On 12 November VaxGen announced preliminary results from a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial in Thailand that show that the investigational preventative AIDSVAX HIV vaccine designed to work against sub-types B and E failed to protect against infection.

The trial randomised 2,546 injecting drug users at 17 clinical sites in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1:1 ratio of vaccine to placebo. During the 36-month follow-up, seven vaccine/placebo injections were administered at months 0, 1, 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30.

No difference in incidence of infection was found. One hundred and five volunteers who received placebo became infected with HIV compared to 106 volunteers who received at least one injection of the vaccine. The annual infection rate in both placebo and vaccine recipients was 3.1%.

When similarly disappointing results from the US trial of the same vaccine were released earlier this year (see HTB Vol4 No3, April 2003), VaxGen received heavy criticism for implying through scientifically flawed analysis that the vaccine may have some activity in non-white people.

Source: VaxGen, Inc.

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