Theravectys just announced positive results of its HIV drug candidate in a phase I/II study. The therapeutic vaccine using lentivirus could be the first cure available for the 35 million people currently suffering from this worldwide epidemic.
Paris-based Theravectys presented detailed results from its phase I/II study at the 2015 Towards an HIV Cure Symposium in Vancouver, Canada. The trial currently enrolled 38 HIV-positive patients under HAART (the antiretroviral therapy currently used to control the disease and not cure patients), and aimed at comparing the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the therapeutic vaccine candidate at 3 different doses to placebo.
This phase I/II study is the first-ever lentivector based therapeutic vaccine trial and consists of two intramuscular injections, separated by an 8 weeks time period, of non-replicative and self-inactivating lentiviral vectors. The engineered virus is encoded for immunogenic regions of the HIV GAG, POL and NEF proteins. The treatment aims at inducing a response from the patients own T-cells against these HIV proteins.
With this approach, Theravectys’ goal is to replace HAART with a sustainable cure to the disease.