An investigatory vaccine from the Baltimore-based Profectus BioSciences is both safe in humans and prompts an immune response to HIV proteins, the Gazette.Net reports. In a Phase I study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network tested the vaccine at various dose levels in 60 HIV-negative adults in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Nashville and Decatur, Georgia.

The vaccine proved safe and immunogenic, with the highest dose prompting an immune response to HIV's gag protein in five out of eight, or 62.5 percent, of study subjects.  That highest dose of the vaccine will go on to further trials.  

The vaccine uses the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a cousin of the rabies virus, as a vector to deliver HIV gag proteins to cells needed to produce an immune response.  Though the VSV can replicate in human cells, it had been weakened enough not to cause illness.

To read the Gazette.Net story, click here.

To read a copy of Profectus BioSciences' release, click here.