HIV Vaccine Trials Network ‘Uhambo’ Trial Halted as The Drug Doesn’t’ Produce Results

HIV Vaccine Trials Network ‘Uhambo’ Trial Halted as The Drug Doesn’t’ Produce Results

A promising HIV clinical trial led by HIV Vaccine Trials Network (led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) has been halted in South Africa two years prior to its scheduled completion. With high hopes, the disappointment has global HIV researchers regrouping as hopes were deflated as the promising research failed to show significant improvement over the mild, 31% effectiveness of a vaccine tested in Thailand over a decade ago. But the new vaccine—a redesign of one used in Thailand—evidenced no effectiveness whatsoever.

A Call for Action

Dr. Tom Lunch, the new president and director of Fred Hutch suggested in a first employee meeting that this was a “call for action.” Lynch noted they must learn from this failure and double down on finding the vaccine. 

No Evidence No Matter How You Cut it

Dr. Larry Corey principal investigator for HVTN reported to the team at the summary meeting for staffers: “There was no evidence of efficacy, no matter how you cut it.” He is a pioneering virologist who had spearheaded HIV/AIDS research also serves as president and director emeritus of Fred Hutch. He told the group: “You did a damn good job” but emphasized “It was a painful answe...

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