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J&J stops HIV vaccine trial as protection is too low

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2021. 2:58 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Johnson & Johnson stopped HIV vaccine trials mid-stage since it did not provide enough protection against the virus, J&J said Tuesday according to the Jamaica Gleaner.

J&J said 2,600 young women in sub-Saharan Africa, who were considered at high risk of contracting the disease, were participating in the trials

Bloomberg said that the trial, named Imbokodo, rendered the vaccine just 25% effective in preventing HIV infection over a two-year period. That target effectiveness was 50%.

However, J&J said it will continue with another trial, which is in the late-stage, of a similar vaccine with a different composition. That test in Europe and the Americas is being done in men and transgender people.

“HIV is a unique and complex virus that has long posed unprecedented challenges for vaccine development because of its ability to attack, hijack and evade the human immune system,” J&J Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said in a press release.

The second test in Europe and the Americas, called Mosaico, is targeting a different strain of HIV in areas where the spread of the disease is not as intense and where the transmission patterns are different.

Johnson & Johnson makes one of the three vaccines approved by US regulators for the prevention of COVID-19.


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