A New Therapeutic Vaccine for HIV/AIDS
Professor Chen, Zhiwei (Project coordinator)
Dr Cheung Ka Wai (Co-Investigator)
Therapeutic Vaccine, HIV/AIDS
Others - Medicine, Dentistry and Health
HKU Project Code
Innovation and Technology Fund Internship Programme
AIDS pandemic has led to 25 million deaths and 33 million people currently living with HIV, the AIDS virus, worldwide. To date, this pandemic still grows in a speed of over 2 million new infections each year while there remains no effective preventive or therapeutic vaccine. In April 2013, National Institute of Health (NIH) in the United States of America has terminated a clinical trial of AIDS vaccine (HVTN505 trial) because the results showed no effect on preventing HIV infection or disease progression. Similar to other disappointing AIDS vaccines, the failure is mainly due to their poor immunogenicity in humans. Here, we aim to bring an HKU-patented PD1-based novel vaccine for immunogenicity evaluation in non-human primates, which is an essential intermediate step before entering human trials. We have demonstrated our novel vaccine can elicit potent immune responses which can reduce infection and eliminating virus infected cells in mice challenged with HIV protein expressing vaccinia virus. Once the vaccine works in monkeys, it will be useful not only for preventing HIV infection but also for immunotherapy of millions of infected people through suppressing viral replication and clearance persistent infected cells.