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Biomarker Discovery Hints a New HIV Treatment

Update Date: Jul 18, 2014 09:01 AM EDT

Further analysis of a Phase II study of  therapeutic HIV vaccine candidate Vacc-4x has revealed a potential biomarker associated with participants who experienced a more profound viral load reduction after receiving a vaccine. 

If confirmed the biomarker would be able to predict which patients will benefit most from the therapeutic HIV vaccine candidate Vacc-4x. 

The Vacc-4x is being developed by the Norwegian vaccine company Bionor Pharma. 

The job of therapeutic HIV vaccines is to train the immune system to seek out and destroy virus producing cells in order to control the patient's HIV for extended periods of time. A therapeutic vaccine is considered successful if it negates the need for daily antiretroviral therapy (ART) for some people with HIV or provide an option for those who don't respond to that. 

"In spite of very effective drugs against HIV these need to be taken daily and have significant side-effects," said Professor Angus Dalgleish, of St George's, University of London, in the press release.

"The ability to replace this daily medication with a vaccine that allows several months of being off medication, not to mention the enormous financial gains that would be delivered to health services, is a step closer with these preliminary results."

The findings of the study were presented at the AIDS 2014 Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

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