A Phase 1 study to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant HIV type 1 subtype C modified vaccinia Ankara virus vaccine candidate in Indian volunteers
A recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara virus vaccine candidate (TBC-M4) expressing HIV-1 subtype C env, gag, tat-rev, and nef-RT genes was tested in a randomized, double-blind, dose escalation Phase I trial in 32 HIV-uninfected healthy volunteers who received three intramuscular injections of TBC-M4 at 0, 1, and 6 months of 5 x 10(7) plaque-forming units (pfu) (low dosage, LD) (n = 12) or 2.5 x 10(8) pfu (high dosage, HD) (n = 12) or placebo (n = 8). Local and systemic reactogenicity was experienced by approximately 67% and 83% of vaccine recipients, respectively. The reactogenicity events were mostly mild in severity. Severe but transient systemic reactogenicity was seen in one volunteer of the HD group. No vaccine-related serious adverse events or events suggesting perimyocarditis were seen. A higher frequency of local reactogenicity events was observed in the HD group. Cumulative HIV-specific IFN-gamma ELISPOT responses were detected in frozen PBMCs from 9/11 (82%), 12/12 (100%), and 1/8 (13%) volunteers after the third injection of the LD, HD, and placebo groups, respectively. Most of the responses were to gag and env proteins (maximum of 430 SFU/10(6) PBMCs) persisting across multiple time points. HIV-specific ELISA antibody responses were detected in 10/11, 12/12, and 0/8 volunteers post-third vaccination, in the LD, HD, and placebo groups, respectively. No neutralizing activity against HIV-1 subtype C isolates was detected. TBC-M4 appears to be generally safe and well-tolerated. The immune response detected was dose dependent, modest in magnitude, and directed mostly to env and gag proteins, suggesting further evaluation of this vaccine in a prime-boost regimen.
AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses
Ramanathan VD, Kumar M, Mahalingam J, Sathyamoorthy P, Narayanan PR, Solomon S, Panicali D, Chakrabarty S, Cox J, Sayeed E, Ackland J, Verlinde C, Vooijs D, Loughran K, Barin B, Lombardo A, Gilmour J, Stevens G, Smith MS, Tarragona-Fiol T, Hayes P, Kochhar S, Excler JL, Fast P