Plans for Large-Scale AIDS Vaccine Trial Dropped

By Matthew Van Atta

Originally published on Advocate.com July 19 2008 12:00 AM ET

Plans for a
large-scale trial of a potential AIDS vaccine are being
dropped in favor of a smaller, more focused study, the
National Institutes of Health said Thursday.

The trial of the
vaccine, developed by the Vaccine Research Center at the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, had
been planned to include 2,400 men in the United States
in a study called PAVE 100.

However, the
agency said that it decided that the vaccine did not warrant
a trial of this size and scope. Instead NIAID said it will
plan a smaller, more focused clinical trial designed
to see whether the product has a significant effect on
the amount of virus in a person's blood.

If an effect is
found, then additional studies, or an expansion of the
study could be carried out.

NIAID said it
acted after reviewing the results of the STEP trial, a
study of another vaccine that was halted last fall after
reports of an increased number of infections among
volunteers taking part in the test.

The agency said
it still considers its vaccine scientifically intriguing
and sufficiently different from other vaccines to proceed
with the smaller trial. (AP)