Clinical Trials Feed

November 23, 2010

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New Announcement about PrEP from NIH

By Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of NIAID’s Division of AIDS

NIAID

The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases just made a significant announcement on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). I am proud to share this important update from the NIH with our blog readers. Learn more by reading this Q&A.

July 30, 2010

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International AIDS Conference 2010: Highlights & Key Scientific Outcomes From Andrew Fullem

Guest post by Andrew Fullem, MSPH, AIDS.gov Advisor and Director for JSI & World Education's Center for HIV and AIDS Exit Disclaimer

Health Protection Perspectives

Andrew Fullem, MSPH, AIDS.gov Advisor and Director for JSI & World Education's Center for HIV and AIDS Exit Disclaimer

I’ve been fortunate to attend international HIV conferences for many years. Several of those conferences stand out in my memory for the results they produced. In Vancouver (1996), researchers first announced the results of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) clinical trials—changing the future for millions of us living with HIV. In Durban (2000), delegates to the conference made an urgent call to ensure access to treatment for people in Africa and other regions of the world heavily impacted by HIV. Now the XVIII International AIDS Conference Exit Disclaimer which recently concluded in Vienna joins that list for memorable results. On Monday, July 19, researchers announced a significant step forward in the development of microbicides that may one day be widely available to provide critical protection from HIV and herpes.

It was an amazing few days with scientists, service providers, clients, and advocates talking and debating about what we need to do for those living with, and at risk for, HIV. Some of the highlights for me include:

Continue reading "International AIDS Conference 2010: Highlights & Key Scientific Outcomes From Andrew Fullem" »

July 16, 2010

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Future Directions for NIAID’s HIV Vaccine Clinical Research

By Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of NIAID’s Division of AIDS, and Margaret I. Johnston, Ph.D., Director of the Vaccine Research Program in NIAID’s Division of AIDS

NIAID

Carl W. Dieffenbach, PhD

Carl W. Dieffenbach, PhD

Margaret I. Johnston, PhD

Margaret I. Johnston, PhD

The development of a safe and effective preventive vaccine for HIV remains one of NIAID’s highest priorities. As we look to the future, we are also seeking to expand the capability of our HIV vaccine clinical research infrastructure to contribute to the development of vaccines for other infectious diseases of public health significance that impact people who are infected with HIV and those who are at risk for HIV infection.

HIV vaccine development has presented significant challenges for the scientific community. However, in late 2009, we obtained the first clinical evidence that a safe and effective HIV vaccine may indeed be possible. The RV144 Thai trial showed that an experimental “prime-boost” vaccine regimen was safe and 31 percent effective in preventing HIV infection. This information brought renewed hope and optimism to researchers and the HIV/AIDS community. Most recently, the identification by NIAID-led scientists of two new broadly neutralizing human antibodies that can prevent more than 90 percent of known HIV strains from infecting human cells will certainly help to advance HIV vaccine design. As we chart a path forward, we must keep our eye on the goal of developing a safe and effective vaccine that prevents HIV acquisition. To achieve this goal, we are following a two-pronged approach for an HIV vaccine.

The first approach grew out of the 2008 NIAID HIV vaccine summit and consists of a strengthened commitment to basic vaccine discovery for HIV. For example, investigators are actively evaluating the earliest steps during HIV infection and how a vaccine may influence the course of infection. Studies in non-human primates are addressing questions that cannot be addressed in humans. This has resulted in a proliferation of new ideas and concepts to pursue, and we must continue to encourage “out of the box” thinking and approaches to HIV prevention. As these lines of thinking and research progress, we hope that some ideas will mature into novel vaccine concepts worthy of further evaluation. Clearly, an important component of the research endeavor is the eventual evaluation of the most promising new concepts for safety and activity in humans, which includes testing candidate HIV vaccines with acquisition of infection as a clinical trial endpoint.

Continue reading "Future Directions for NIAID’s HIV Vaccine Clinical Research" »

June 30, 2010

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Looking Ahead: NIAID’s Future HIV/AIDS Therapeutics Priorities

By Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of NIAID's Division of AIDS

NIAID

Since the 1980s when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was first recognized, NIAID-supported clinical research has helped to save millions of lives and played a key role in defining the standard of care for treating HIV infection. This blog post describes what we are seeking for the next wave of HIV/AIDS therapeutic approaches. Specifically, we have identified the following three research priorities: 1) finding a cure for HIV-infected individuals; 2) developing therapeutic strategies for preventing and treating tuberculosis (TB) and hepatitis C in HIV-infected individuals and individuals at high risk for co- infection; and 3) addressing the long-term consequences of treatment of HIV infection.

Continue reading "Looking Ahead: NIAID’s Future HIV/AIDS Therapeutics Priorities" »

June 21, 2010

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Future Priorities for NIAID’s HIV Prevention Research

By Carl W. Dieffenbach, Ph.D., Director of NIAID's Division of AIDS

NIAID

As we begin to discuss the restructuring of NIAID's clinical trials networks, let us first focus on the Institute's HIV prevention research agenda. Developing new biomedical tools that can safely and effectively prevent HIV acquisition and transmission is critical to addressing the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. Currently, we are exploring several promising HIV prevention strategies that, if proven successful, could have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of new infections. These strategies include microbicides — gels, foams, creams, and other formulations designed to prevent sexual transmission of HIV — and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), attempting to block HIV infection by providing antiretroviral medicines to people who are not infected with HIV but who are at high risk for infection. HIV vaccines are also a major focus of our prevention research efforts, but we will discuss that area specifically in an upcoming blog post.

Continue reading "Future Priorities for NIAID’s HIV Prevention Research" »

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