Roberta Friedman, Ph.D.Special to BioWorld

Preliminary results with an AIDS vaccine made of a coreprotein show that 16 HIV-negative volunteers so far haveresponded in a promising manner, with induction of killer cellactivity, as well as stimulation of T cell replication.

The results were announced Wednesday at an AIDS vaccine con-ference by Alpha 1 Biomedicals Inc. of Washington, D.C., andCel-Sci Corp. of Alexandria, Va., who have formed a jointventure, Viral Technologies Inc., to develop the vaccine. Thetrial will be testing a total of 24 volunteers.

The vaccine consists of HGP-30, a synthesized fragment of thecore protein p17. This core protein varies less among differentstrains of the virus than do coat proteins. Proponents arguethat core-based vaccines would therefore protect against awider variety of HIV strains.

Stimulation of T cell replication indicates that a memory ofthe exposure has been created by the vaccine, so that theimmune system will launch antibodies to counter anysubsequent infection.

Viral Technologies holds patent rights to HGP-30.

Stock of Alpha 1 (NASDAQ:ALBM) closed at $15.50, up $2.25 onWednesday. Cel-Sci shares (NASDAQ:CELI) closed at $2.19, up13 cents.

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