By Joseph Checky Abuje
Ongoing study on a first proof-of-concept studies of bNAb VRC01 for prevention of HIV by the International AIDS Vaccine Institute (IAVI) is showing significant viral reduction among HIV positive participants and safety to users and tolerability. The study aims to make artificial antibody mediation protection (VRC01) proves successful.
The study was initiated in 2016.
Dr. Vincent Muturi Kioi, a Scientist at IAVI said among the areas the study is addressing are identifying and developing more powerful antibodies and establishing easier ways of delivery, direct transfer of antibodies for prevention, treatment and cure and early clinical trials of multiple broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs).
Dr Kioi said that women and men in sub Saharan Africa and transgender women in America and Europe are the target of the AMP study whose outcomes are to be released soon.
HIV/Aids has remained a global threat and has weakened labour force especially in Africa. In 2016, more than 1million people got infected with HIV/Aids globally.
Since its discovery in 80’s, more than 76 million have been infected with 35million deaths accounted for. According to UNAIDS 2017 indicators, HIV is a leading killer of women in reproductive age.
HIV/Aids produce different strains to evade counter naturally produced antibodies. However, laboratory tests have shown that VRC01 antibodies can prevent a number of different HIV strains from infected cells. The study also reveals that the antibody (VRC01) prevents animal from getting infected.
However, the study has predicted possible implications of the Amp trial Study. High efficacy that is 70% and above, moderate efficacy between 50 – 70% and 50% and bellow efficacy.
Statistics have indicated that as 30 per cent of the people living with HIV/Aids don’t know if they have the infection. 18 million of the victims have no access to treatment and majority of those who access do not adhere as required.
However, as the Amp study is in its final stages, a number of factors could hinder its success. Dr Grace Mboya of Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI/CDC) alludes that if there is a negative impact of the new treatment on the primary outcome, then the study may be stopped following the irrelevancy of the study question.