JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Safety and immunogenicity of an adjuvanted protein therapeutic HIV-1 vaccine in subjects with HIV-1 infection: a randomised placebo-controlled study

Thomas Harrer, Andreas Plettenberg, Keikawus Arastéh, Jan Van Lunzen, Gerd Fätkenheuer, Hans Jaeger, Michel Janssens, Wivine Burny, Alix Collard, François Roman, Alfred Loeliger, Marguerite Koutsoukos, Patricia Bourguignon, Ludo Lavreys, Gerald Voss
Vaccine 2014 May 7, 32 (22): 2657-65
24144472
The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) vaccine candidate F4/AS01 has previously been shown to induce potent and persistent polyfunctional CD4(+) T-cell responses in HIV-1-seronegative volunteers. This placebo-controlled study evaluated two doses of F4/AS01 1-month apart in antiretroviral treatment (ART)-experienced and ART-naïve HIV-1-infected subjects (1:1 randomisation in each cohort). Safety, HIV-1-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses, absolute CD4(+) T-cell counts and HIV-1 viral load were monitored for 12 months post-vaccination. Reactogenicity was clinically acceptable and no vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported. The frequency of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells 2 weeks post-dose 2 was significantly higher in the vaccine group than in the placebo group in both cohorts (p<0.05). Vaccine-induced HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells exhibited a polyfunctional phenotype, expressing at least CD40L and IL-2. No increase in HIV-1-specific CD8(+) T-cells or change in CD8(+) T-cell activation marker expression profile was detected. Absolute CD4(+) T-cell counts were variable over time in both cohorts. Viral load remained suppressed in ART-experienced subjects. In ART-naïve subjects, a transient reduction in viral load from baseline was observed 2 weeks after the second F4/AS01 dose, which was concurrent with a higher frequency of HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cells expressing at least IL-2 in this cohort. In conclusion, F4/AS01 showed a clinically acceptable reactogenicity and safety profile, and induced polyfunctional HIV-1-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses in ART-experienced and ART-naïve subjects. These findings support further clinical investigation of F4/AS01 as a potential HIV-1 vaccine for therapeutic use in individuals with HIV-1 infection.

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