Engineered protein primes antibody response to HIV

An experimental HIV-1 vaccine has demonstrated immunogenicity in mice, according to recent studies. In the image, a scientist observes test subjects (white mice) in a laboratory

An experimental HIV-1 vaccine has demonstrated immunogenicity in mice, according to studies published concurrently in Cell
[1]
and Science
[2]
(online, 18 June 2015), with the results described as “pretty spectacular” by one of the researchers.

The new vaccine is an engineered protein, or immunogen, that binds to a precursor of broadly neutralising antibodies (bnAbs). Achieving such binding has been a major hurdle in the development of an HIV vaccine and the new protein, called eOD-GT8 60mer, represents an important advance towards an effective vaccine.

When administered to mice, eOD-GT8 60mer induced the production of antibodies with characteristics of a certain class of bnAb precursors. “The vaccine appears to work well in our model to ‘prime’ the antibody response,” says David Nemazee, one of the senior study authors.

References

[1] Dosenovic P, von Boehmer L, Escolano A et al. Immunization for HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies in human Ig knockin mice. Cell 2015;161:1505–1515.

[2] Jardine JG, Ota T, Sok D et al. Priming a broadly neutralizing antibody response to HIV-1 using a germline-targeting immunogen. Science 2015. doi:10.1126/science.aac5894.

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 11 July 2015, Vol 295, No 7870;295(7870):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068849