Norway's Bionor snags $1.7 million for HIV vaccine research

Norway's Bionor Pharma landed $1.7 million from the Research Council of Norway's Globvac program to learn more about what role a vaccine can play in eliminating HIV.

Right now, HIV patients' only treatment option is combination anti-retroviral therapy, a lifelong, daily dose of three different medications. And those medications cause side effects. But Bionor's vaccine candidate, Vacc-4x, functions in a different way; the vaccine--which consists of four peptides--trains immune cells to seek out and kill cells carrying HIV. Minor side effects include swelling at the injection site and short-term flu-like symptoms after the injection.

The grant will fund a multinational study during which patients from the Phase IIb study will receive another dose of Vacc-4x. The idea is to see if additional vaccinations further reduce the viral load, the company said in a release.

"If the reboost study shows that Vacc-4x offers further reduction of viral load through additional vaccinations, doctors and patients may have a new weapon to fight the epidemic of HIV," said Dr. Richard Pollard, chief of infectious diseases at the University of California-Davis, as quoted in the release.

- read the release

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