United Biomedical Inc.'s (UBI) HIV multicomponent vaccine hasentered Phase I clinicals in the U.S., the company announced.The safety and immunogenicity trial will be conducted at theUniversity of Rochester and Johns Hopkins University's AIDSVaccine Evaluation Unit under the sponsorship of the NationalInstitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Phase I trials of a prototype of the V3 loop peptide vaccinewere launched in China and Australia in November (seeBioWorld, Nov. 8). The prototype vaccine consists of the V3loop from a single HIV isolate, while the vaccine to be tested atRochester and Johns Hopkins consists of eight V3 loops fromHIV isolates from all over the world plus a cellular immunecomponent.

UBI's single-component vaccine is the only HIV vaccine thathas produced neutralizing antibodies against the primary fieldisolate of HIV (i.e., a strain taken directly from an HIV-infectedindividual; see BioWorld, Nov. 2). Other vaccines havegenerated neutralizing antibodies against standard laboratorystrains of HIV, which are adapted to the laboratory anddifferent from strains in humans. UBI's multicomponentvaccine, the version it plans to test in Phase III efficacy trials,has neutralized primary HIV-1 field isolates in animals.-- Brenda Sandburg

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