J&J’s hopes for HIV vaccine dashed as southern African trial ...

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J&J’s hopes for HIV vaccine dashed as southern African trial flops

Prevention with immunisation still appears out of reach after results fall short of efficacy target

John Lauerman

Johnson & Johnson stopped a mid-stage test of its HIV vaccine in southern Africa after the shot showed insufficient ability to protect people from contracting the virus. 

The trial, called Imbokodo, showed the vaccine was just 25% effective in preventing HIV infection over a period of two years, short of a goal of 50% efficacy, according to a statement. A similar vaccine developed by the drugmaker will continue being tested in Europe and the Americas in a final-stage study called Mosaico, Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said. 

The study’s halt is another setback in efforts to control HIV, a treatable yet potentially lethal disease that afflicts almost 38-million people worldwide. About 1.5-million were infected last year. While people can live healthy lives with the virus, prevention with a vaccine still appears tantalisingly out of reach...

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