The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) has issued an update on the status of the major HIV vaccines trials in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The extreme disruptions to and restrictions on everyday life that the new pandemic has caused have interrupted the clinical trials process around the world.
A pair of studies, HVTN 703/HPTN 081 and HVTN 704/HPTN 085, are testing whether a broadly neutralizing antibody known as VRC01 can prevent HIV acquisition. The studies are running in 11 nations in sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Switzerland and the United States. The leadership of the studies has decided to discontinue all future infusions of the antibody, determining that sufficient infusions have already been given to participants. The study will continue to follow those who have received the infusions, possibly using remote study visits.
The Imbokodo vaccine trial, also known as HVTN 705/HPX2008, launched in 2017 among women 18 to 35 years old in five sub-Saharan African nations. Guidance for study sites will depend on the circumstances of each nation and the location of the sites. In some cases, injections of the multipart vaccine may be paused.
The Mosaico vaccine trial, also known as HVTN 706/HPX3002, was just getting recruitment underway when the coronavirus pandemic hit. The trial was rolling out in the Americas and Europe among men who have sex with men and transgender individuals. The study will pause all new screening, enrollment and vaccination visits through May 1. This pause will be reassessed in time.
Lastly, the Uhambo vaccine trial, also known as HVTN 702, stopped giving vaccinations in February 2020 after—in a huge blow to the HIV vaccine research field—it was found that the vaccine was not effective. Follow-up of participants continues, however. The study’s leadership had given study sites, all of which are in South Africa, the leeway to expand visit windows, delay visits or conduct some visits remotely.
To read the HVTN rundown of the changes made to each of the trials, click here.