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Archive - Jul 7, 2018

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Preventative HIV Vaccine Candidate Triggers Desired Immune Responses in Humans and Monkeys, and Protects Monkeys from Infection

More than three decades after the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), scientists are still working to develop a preventative vaccine that could finally put an end to the epidemic for which there are nearly two million new infections each year. In a new study, published online on July 6, 2016 in The Lancet, a team of researchers led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's (BIDMC’s) Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, in collaboration with Janssen Vaccines & Prevention and other partners, evaluated a series of preventative HIV vaccine regimens in uninfected human volunteers in five countries. In a similarly designed study, Dr. Barouch and colleagues tested the same vaccine for its ability to protect rhesus monkeys challenged with an HIV-like virus from infection. The findings showed the vaccines induced robust and comparable immune responses in humans and monkeys and protected monkeys against acquisition of infection. "This study demonstrates that the mosaic Ad26/Ad26 plus gp140 vaccine candidate induced robust and comparable immune responses in human and monkeys," said Dr. Barouch, who is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Moreover, the vaccine provided 67 percent protection against viral challenge in monkeys." The Lancet article is titled “Evaluation of a Mosaic HIV-1 Vaccine in a Multicentre, Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial (APPROACH) and in Rhesus Monkeys (NHP 13-19).”

Anti-TNF Drug Offers New Hope for Patients with Incurable and Disabling Hand Condition, Dupuytren's Disease

Researchers at the Kennedy Institute and Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, working with clinicians at NHS Lothian, have found that injection of the anti-TNF drug adalimumab (Humira) into Dupuytren's disease nodules results in the reduction of the cell characteristics responsible for progression of Dupuytren's disease. Based on their laboratory data that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) drives the development of myofibroblasts, the cell type that causes Dupuytren's disease, the research team explored the effect of an anti-TNF drug injected directly into the Dupuytren's nodule tissue. The results so far are very promising. "Our data have shown that a concentrated formulation of adalimumab injected directly into the diseased tissue may be effective in targeting the cells responsible for Dupuytren's disease," said Jagdeep Nanchahal, MD, PhD, University of Oxford Professor of Hand, Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery, who led the study. "This brings new hope to people who suffer from this disabling condition, who currently have to wait for their situation to be deteriorate, watching their hand lose function until it is bad enough for surgery. And then there's the lengthy recovery ahead, a less than ideal situation to find yourself in." This randomized trial (phase 2a) recruited 28 patients with Dupuytren's disease who were scheduled to have surgery in Edinburgh to remove diseased tissue in their hand. Two weeks prior to surgery they received a single injection of varying doses of the anti-TNF drug, or placebo. The tissue removed during surgery, which is usually discarded, was then analyzed in the laboratory.