Background. Prime-boost regimens comprising ALVAC-HIV (prime) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) Env (boost) induce HIV-specific neutralizing antibody and cell-mediated immune responses, but the impact of boost schedule and adjuvant requires further definition.
Methods. A phase 1 trial was conducted. In part A (open label), 19 volunteers received oligomeric glycoprotein 160 from HIV strains MN and LAI-2 (ogp160 MN/LAI-2) with dose escalation (25, 50, 100 μg) and either polyphosphazene (pP) or alum adjuvant. In part B, 72 volunteers received either placebo (n=12) or recombinant canarypox virus expressing HIV antigens (ALVAC-HIV [vCP205]) with different doses and schedules of ogp160 MN/LAI-2 in pP or alum (n = 60).
Results. The vaccines were safe and well tolerated, with no vaccine-related serious adverse events. Anti–gp70 V1V2 antibody responses were detected in 17 of 19 part A volunteers (89%) and 10%–100% of part B volunteers. Use of a peripheral blood mononuclear cell–based assay revealed that US-1 primary isolate neutralization was induced in 2 of 19 recipients of ogp160 protein alone (10.5%) and 5 of 49 prime-boost volunteers (10.2%). Among ogp160 recipients, those who received pP were more likely than those who received alum to have serum that neutralized tier 2 viruses (12% vs 0%; P = .015).
Conclusions. Administration of ogp160 with pP induces primary isolate tier 2 neutralizing antibody responses in a small percentage of volunteers, demonstrating proof of concept and underscoring the importance of further optimization of prime-boost strategies for HIV infection prevention.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT00004579.