A Phase I clinical trial investigating immunisation strategies using DNA, MVA and CN54rgp140 adjuvanted with GLA-AF to maximise antibody responses.

Studying whether combining two components of a combination vaccine can improve immune responses amd reduce the number of shots those with HIV need

What was this study about?

There is currently no cure for HIV and although treatment is available, it is inaccessible to many, has to be taken for life and can be associated with side effects. It is widely accepted that a vaccine for HIV would be the best way to prevent infection and although there has been one encouraging trial in Thailand, there is currently no vaccine available.

We explored a strategy using a combination of three different types of vaccine. This approach had previously been shown to be more efficient than just a single component. There is currently great interest in whether combining vaccines could improve their performance.

In this study half (20) the volunteers received 7 vaccinations and the other half received 5. We followed everyone in the same way and were interested in immune responses and also whether the reactions to the vaccinations were any worse because they were given at the same time in one group.

This study was one of several that we were involved in using common vaccines and so we will be able to directly compare the results across these studies in order to optimise the design of the next (larger) clinical study.

What difference did this study make?

The vast majority of reactions were mild. There were very few differences between the two groups in terms of immune responses, although combining the two did dampen the cellular responses. This may have been because we did not allow enough time between the priming vaccines and the boosts for the immune response to mature. We are therefore cautious about the accelerated regimen and plan a longer gap between the prime and boost in subsequent trials.

Here is a link to the publication.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details

Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council, with support from the Wellcome Trust.

When did it take place?


Where did it take place?

St Marys Hospital, London, Surrey Clinical Research Centre, Guildford

Who was included?

40 healthy adult men and women aged 18-45 at low risk of HIV infection.