In 2007, the NIH released results from its Phase 2a HIV vaccine trial using a DNA prime-adenoviral vector boost approach. The results showed the vaccine regimen was safe and well-tolerated, and was effective in inducing T-cell immune responses in up to 70% of the vaccine recipients. The NIH planned to further test the DNA prime-adenoviral vector boost approach in a trial known as the PAVE 100 study, which was designed to enroll 8,500 volunteers. Vical manufactured the DNA prime component of the vaccine to be used in the PAVE 100 study. The study was to begin recruitment in October 2007, but was postponed following the NIH’s review of interim data from an unrelated Phase 2b trial known as the STEP study, which used an adenoviral vector vaccine alone. The NIH concluded that the adenoviral vector vaccine failed to prevent HIV infection or reduce viral load, and the vaccinated group exhibited a higher incidence of infection than the placebo group.
In July 2008, after soliciting and considering broad input from the scientific and HIV communities, the NIH determined that it would not conduct the PAVE 100 study. However, the NIH believes the DNA prime-adenoviral vector boost approach is scientifically intriguing and sufficiently different from previously tested HIV vaccines to consider testing it in a smaller, more focused clinical study.
The NIH started enrollment in 2009 of 1,350
HIV-seronegative men in a Phase 2b trial of a prime-boost vaccine regimen for
HIV using three doses of DNA vaccine, previously manufactured by Vical for the
PAVE 100 study, followed by a single dose of adenoviral vector vaccine.