Mucovac2 is a phase I clinical trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of three HIV CN54gp140 immunisations administered through the intramuscular, intranasal and intravaginal routes in healthy female volunteers. After various setbacks it has at last started recruitment at both sites, St Georges in London, and York. Participants are recruited through advertising at the sites and through the Help Make History website.
There is an urgent need to develop methods to prevent HIV infection and the aim of this study is to assess the safety and immunogenicity of a new potential HIV vaccine. An HIV vaccine is widely considered to be one of the most effective and sustainable ways of reducing the rate of new infections.
At present, it is not clear which way of giving an HIV vaccine is best at stimulating the immune system and preventing the virus from being acquired through sex. The vaccine being tested (CN54gp140) has previously been shown to be safe when given to a small number of women intravaginally.
Mucovac2 will look at giving the same potential HIV vaccine in four different combinations using three different routes – intramuscularly, intranasally and intravaginally – and in three different concentrations. As well as assessing the safety of a new potential HIV vaccine we will also assess how well the vaccine stimulates the body’s immune system by testing blood in the laboratory.
Help Make History is an MRC-funded network of healthy volunteers who would, in principle, be willing to participate in HIV prevention trials. More information can be found at the Help Make History website.