Promising Results for Canadian HIV Vaccine Trial

By jay Jordan

Researchers from Canada’s Western University working to develop an HIV vaccine announced in Ontario Tuesday that Phase I trials of their drug in the US had succeeded in materially increasing HIV-1 antibodies in patients without adverse side effects to taking the drug.

The vaccine, called SAV001-H, is being developed Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and a team of scientists at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry with the support of Sumagen Canada, a pharmaceutical company. SAV001-H is the only HIV vaccine currently under development in Canada, and one of just a few in the world.

SAV001-H is different than other HIV vaccines in development as it is the first preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus. This means that SAV001-H, like vaccines for polio, the flu, and hepatitis A, includes elements of the virus in order to increase antibody production without causing infection.