Johnson & Johnson plans to expand testing of its potential HIV vaccine by extending trials into men in the US and Europe, Bloomberg reported.
The company will work with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network to launch the trial of 3,800 individuals later this year.
The vaccine candidate has been developed to provide protection against a range of viral strains, after being created using genes from a wide variety of viral subtypes responsible for HIV. The treatment schedule involves four immunizations being delivered over one year.
Phase I/IIa studies suggested that the treatment is well tolerated and induces an immune response to different HIV-1 strains.
The potential treatment was developed with support by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the US Army Medical Material Development Activity.
The US and European studies join an on-going Phase IIb proof-of-concept efficacy study being conducted with 2,600 young women across five southern African countries.
Current estimates suggest that more than 35 million people are living with the virus globally and, in 2017, close to 1 million people died of the disease.
Only days before Bloomberg broke the news, ViiV Healthcare, a specialist HIV company involving GSK, Pfizer and Shionogi, announced that its two-drug treatment achieved similar rates of viral suppression when compared with a three-drug regimen including Gilead’s Vemlidy (tenofovir alafenamide fumarate).
Dovato (dolutegravir plus lamivudine) is a once-daily, single-tablet treatment that ViiV suggests cuts the number of side-effects experienced by current three-drug treatments.