IAS 2017: Researchers Announce Encouraging Developments Across Several Critical Areas Of HIV Research
Researchers today announced encouraging developments across several critical areas of HIV research at an official press conference at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2017) .
These included a promising vaccine candidate, positive results for an innovative HIV treatment option and better strategies to combat co-infections.
The briefing also featured the results of a rigorous new survey in Swaziland – which has the world’s highest HIV prevalence – showing the extraordinary national impact of expanded HIV prevention and treatment efforts.
“Each of the studies we are highlighting today takes us one step closer to the end of HIV,” Linda-Gail Bekker, the International AIDS Society (IAS) President and International Scientific Chair of IAS 2017, said. “This research moves us forward on many fronts, from vaccines, to new treatment approaches, to real-world evidence that our current efforts to expand testing and treatment are paying off.”
The press briefing highlighted five studies, which were selected from more than 1,700 scientific abstracts being presented at IAS 2017.
Results from APPROACH, a Phase 1/2a study evaluating seven different “prime boost” HIV vaccine regimens, identified a promising vaccine candidate that will be evaluated in a proof-of-concept efficacy study among those at risk for HIV. The APPROACH study included 393 low-risk, HIV-negative adults in the United States, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and Thailand.
Dan Barouch of Harvard Medical School reported the APPROACH study results, which found that the vaccine regimen encompassing two primes with Ad26.Mos.HIV and two boosts with Ad26.Mos.HIV and aluminum-adjuvanted Clade C gp140 achieved the strongest immunological response.
This same regimen also provided greatest protection in earlier non-human primate studies. The proof-of-concept study could start by the end of 2017. [Summary based on submitted abstract; updated data may be presented on site.]
Abstract: Selection of a lead HIV-1 vaccine regimen in APPROACH, a Phase 1/2a study evaluating seven heterologous prime boost regimens using mosaic Ad26 and -MVA vectors combined with soluble Env protein
Session: Translational Vaccinology Symposium (Room 251; Monday, 24 July, 11:00-12:30)
Progress in developing a long-acting injectable HIV treatment:
LATTE-2 is a Phase IIb open-label study of a long-acting, injectable, two-drug therapy with cabotegravir (an integrase inhibitor) and rilpivirine (a second-generation NNRTI) as a maintenance therapy for people who have already achieved viral suppression. Studies show that some people living with HIV would find long-acting injectable treatment to be more convenient or less stigmatizing than daily oral pills, which could help improve treatment adherence rates.
Joseph Eron of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill presented 96-week LATTE-2 results, which found that patients receiving the long-acting injectable tolerated it well and achieved high rates of virologic response, regardless of whether the injections were once every four weeks or once every eight weeks. The four-week dosing schedule is now being evaluated in Phase III studies. [Summary based on submitted abstract; updated data may be presented on site.]
Abstract: Safety and efficacy of long-acting CAB and RPV as two drug IM maintenance therapy: LATTE-2 week 96 results
Remarkable nationwide impact of expanded HIV prevention and treatment in Swaziland:
Overall HIV incidence in Swaziland dropped by almost half (46%) from 2011 to 2016 as the country scaled up a comprehensive, national HIV prevention and treatment programme. This is according to a rigorous survey intended to directly measure the impact of the programme. It also found that the proportion of people living with HIV who have achieved viral suppression doubled (from 35% to 73%).
Known as a population-based HIV impact assessment (PHIA), this is a nationally representative survey that includes HIV and viral load testing.
According to presenter Velephi Okello of the Swaziland Ministry of Health, these findings provide the first direct evidence of the national impact of expanded HIV treatment programmes on HIV incidence in a high-prevalence country. [Summary based on submitted abstract; updated data may be presented on site.]