A group of Chinese scientists will test a "long-lasting" vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (VIH) with 160 volunteers, which is the first time that a vaccine of this type reaches the second phase of human testing, reports today the official newspaper 'China Daily'.
The emerging vaccine, known as DNA / rTV, is to replicate the DNA of a portion of VIH to stimulate an "effective immunization" against the virus, says Shao Yiming, one of the researchers at the Chinese Disease Control and Prevention Center in charge of draft.
According to Shao, this vaccine, similar to that used to prevent smallpox, is the first to begin a second phase clinical trial in humans.
"With a significant reduction in virulence, the vaccine will not cause infection in healthy receptors," says the scientist.
Likewise, the developing vaccine does not contain all segments of the virus, but some parts of its genetic material, so that the chances of infection are greatly reduced.
The DNA of the virus will continue to replicate after injection, constantly stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies, a process similar to that of vaccines for other diseases.
Most VIH vaccines in China and the rest of the world are of the "inactive" type, that is, they do not contain portions of the virus's DNA that can be replicated, so their effects on the immune system are less weather.
The first phase of tests, initiated in 2007, tested the "safety" of this vaccine, so this second phase will be used to "determine the vaccination procedure" to be followed in the future, says Shao. "Hopefully, the second phase of the clinical trial will end in the first half of 2021, and the third phase could begin later that year and will include thousands of volunteers to test the effectiveness of the vaccine," he says.
The research group has already recruited more than 130 volunteers, and the first preparations are already underway at two Chinese hospitals, one in Beijing and one in Hangzhou (east China).
Speaking to 'China Daily,' Chuang Chuang, director of the LGBT rights defender Hangzhou Sunflower, said more than 100 volunteers had already registered with the organization after learning about this second phase of testing.
"The majority of the volunteers are students or other young men. Some enrolled at the beginning, but withdrew after knowing they would have to participate in the entire clinical trial, which lasts almost two years," Chuang confessed.
For his part, Nuan Yang, a Hangzhou volunteer, explained that he registered as soon as he learned about the project, since "if a vaccine is available to prevent infection, fewer people will be afraid of VIH and will stop discriminating against carriers. "of the virus.
"I hope the vaccine will be available as soon as possible. Although VIH can be controlled and now AIDS is practically a chronic disease, many people with VIH live under heavy pressure and have to endure discrimination from the rest," he said.
According to the National Health Commission, about 1.25 million patients currently live with VIH in China, a country where around 80,000 people get the virus every year.
El Periódico Digital