J&J’s HIV Vaccine Fails in Africa Trial

The decades-long search for an HIV vaccine hit another roadblock this morning as Johnson & Johnson announced its vaccine failed to prevent infection in 2,600 women in southern Africa who were at high risk of infection, STAT reports.
 
The Imbokodo study found the vaccine fell far short of the goal of reaching at least 50% efficacy. It reduced the odds of becoming infected 2 years after the first dose by only 25.2%, compared with a placebo group.
 
History: The study began in 2017 with high hopes. In 2015, J&J said the vaccine had achieved 90% efficacy in animal models and “might be a real breakthrough.”
 
The trial will not continue, according to Reuters. The vaccine is based on the same adenovirus design that J&J uses for its COVID-19 vaccine and was supported by US NIAID and the Gates Foundation.
 
Another trial: The trial of a slightly different J&J vaccine candidate called Mosaico will continue, STAT reports. It will continue to be evaluated in men who have sex with men and transgender people in the Americas and Europe.

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