Since the 1980s, Fenway Health has been a leader in HIV/AIDS prevention research and education. In that tradition, The Fenway Institute will soon serve as a site for two upcoming vaccine studies that have the potential to significantly reduce the number of new HIV infections: HVTN 106 and HVTN 110.
The first study, HVTN 106, will test four experimental vaccines against HIV by using DNA “primes” – DNA that can replicate the proteins found in HIV. The study vaccines are called DNA Nat-B env, DNA CON-S env, DNA Mosaic env, and MVA-CMDR. It’s important to note that the products used in this study are not made from live HIV, killed HIV, or HIV-infected human cells. These study vaccines cannot cause HIV infection or AIDS.
HVTN 106 is not designed to find out if the study vaccines work to prevent or fight HIV; the goal of HVTN 106 is to see which, if any, of the study vaccines are safe to give to people, and whether the study vaccines can be administered without causing discomfort. A critical component will be to learn if and how well the 106 study participants’ immune systems respond to the vaccines. The tests will also show whether a variety of combinations of the study vaccines have different effects on the immune system.
To join this study, a person must be healthy, between 18 and 50 years old, and not infected with HIV. They cannot be pregnant or breastfeeding. Study participants will also be screened for medical history, sexual activity, and drug use.
The second study, HVTN 110, will tests three experimental vaccines against HIV. The study vaccines are called Ad4-mgag, Ad4- EnvC150, and AIDSVAX® B/E. As is the case in HVTN 106, the vaccines used in this study are not made from live HIV, killed HIV, or HIV-infected human cells and cannot cause HIV infection or AIDS.
Made with a virus called adenovirus subtype 4 (Ad4), the Ad4-mgag and Ad4-EnvC150 used in this study will be administered orally to the 60 study participants, while AIDSVAX® B/E will be administered as an injection. The goals of HVTN 110 are similar to those of HVTN 106: to study the safety and comfort of administering these vaccines and to observe how the vaccines are received by the immune system.
The Ad4 vaccines contain live, weakened adenovirus, which can cause symptoms of the common cold. It is possible that people who get the Ad4 vaccines may pass the Ad4 to other people with whom they have intimate contact, during the month after they receive the vaccine. Because of this possibility, participants’ intimate contacts must also join the study and sign a similar consent form to the one participants will sign, outlying any potential risks.
As with HVTN 106, study participants must be between 18 and 50 years of age, healthy, and not infected with HIV. They cannot be pregnant or breastfeeding, and will be screened for medical history, sexual activity, and drug use.
For more information on these studies, or to discuss participating in one of these studies, please contact Laura Michelson at 617.927.6287.
Want to receive email updates about what’s happening at Fenway Health? Sign up here.