Bionor Pharma ASA has been selected to present a poster entitled “Approaching HIV Functional Cure Applying Vacc-4x, a peptide-based HIV Therapeutic Vaccine: Clinical Development Methodological Considerations” at the National Institute of Health (NIH) “Strategies for an HIV Cure” meeting from 14th-16th November 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
The poster compiles data from several Vacc-4x clinical studies to emphasize the importance of including an immunotherapy that can lead to immune-mediated removal of HIV-infected cells as part of a combination approach towards functional HIV cure. Vacc-4x effect has been shown in two clinical studies, including the large multi-national placebo-controlled clinical study which showed statistically significant reduction in viral load set-point compared to placebo on interruption of antiretroviral therapy. The feasibility of combining Vacc-4x with additional agents having complementary mechanisms of action is illustrated through two different clinical studies. First, the potential to combine with latency reversing agents, such as the histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin, is exemplified by data from the company’s REDUC clinical study where Vacc-4x induced a statistically significant reduction in viral reservoirs as measured by total HIV DNA following latency reversal. Second, the potential to combine with immune modulators such as lenalidomide is described by data from the company’s IMiD clinical study that focused on participants that fail to normalize their CD4 count despite being well controlled on ART. Combining Vacc-4x with lenalidomide led to a statistically significant increase in CD4 counts compared to baseline, indicative of improved immune competence. HIV functional cure, like HIV treatment in general, will only be possible with combination therapies. Bionor is therefore exploring options to combine Vacc-4x with other interventions having a complementary mechanism of action.
The NIH “Strategies for an HIV Cure “ meeting, convened by the NIH, is held every second year at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, Maryland and is devoted to discussing and evaluating strategies towards functional HIV cure, a core priority at the NIH within HIV research. This important meeting is attended by researchers, community representatives and key opinion leaders in the field, most of whom have funding from the NIH. The acceptance of Bionor’s scientific poster presentation at this meeting emphasizes Bionor’s position and expertise in the field.