Crucell forges ahead with combo AIDS vax trial

Joining with a host of collaborators, Crucell plans to take a promising combo approach for a new AIDS vaccine into the clinic in the U.S. in an ambitious effort to forge ahead on one of the most challenging fronts in vaccine R&D.

Working with researchers from Harvard University's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical School and the Ragon Institute, the Dutch biotech plans to mix its vaccine with a candidate from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in what they call a prime-boost approach. The investigators will track the combination vaccine's safety as well as its ability to provoke an immune response among healthy volunteers.

"A different prime-boost AIDS vaccine approach has been shown in the RV144 trial (Thai Trial) to protect against HIV in humans, for the first time in the history of AIDS vaccine development," said Crucell CSO Jaap Goudsmit. "Our program to develop this combination vaccine represents one of the most advanced AIDS vaccine programs in the world and is based on the best science available today."

If the Phase I trial is successful Crucell says they can pursue plans to mount a proof-of-concept Phase IIb study. The research work is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

- check out the Crucell release
- here's the Bloomberg story