Feds shut down clinical trials for HIV vaccine, citing safety

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Federal authorities have shut down a clinical trial for an HIV vaccine after finding that test subjects were at risk for contracting the virus.

Nearly 2,500 people in 21 sites around the country had been participating in the study, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Independent safety experts ordered the halt earlier this week, after finding that those who received the vaccine — as opposed to those who received the placebo — faced a slightly bigger chance of contracting HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, L.A. Times said. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIAID, had developed the vaccine, HVTN 505, in 2009. Early trials found that it could prove successful in generating an immune response to HIV. But larger trials didn’t bear that out. The agency said in a statement on Thursday reported by the L.A. Times that the larger trial revealed a “non-statistically significant increase in HIV acquisition among volunteers in the investigational vaccine group compared to those in the placebo group.”

Investigators say the difference recorded between the two groups — the vaccinated subjects versus the placebo subjects — could be chance and mean nothing.

But they’re not taking a chance.

“This is quite a substantial disappointment,” said Dr. Scott Hammer, one of the trial’s investigators, in the L.A. Times.

All of the test subjects were either men or transgender people who have sex with men, the L.A. Times reported.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks