The experimental HIV vaccine candidate eOD-GT8 60mer developed at the Scripps Research Institute.
The experimental HIV vaccine candidate eOD-GT8 60mer developed at the Scripps Research Institute.

An experimental vaccine candidate designed at The Scripps Research Institute can stimulate the immune system activity necessary to stop HIV infection.

The findings, published concurrently by two teams last week in the journals Cell and Science, could provide key information for the development of an effective AIDS vaccine.

Dennis Burton

“The results are pretty spectacular,” said Dennis Burton, chair of the Scripps’ Department of Immunology and Microbial Science.

The Science study was co-led by Burton and Scripps colleagues William Schief and David Nemazee. The Cell study was co-led by Schief and Michel Nussenzweig of Rockefeller University.

The researchers’ long-term goal is to design a vaccine that prompts the body to produce antibodies that bind to HIV and prevent infection despite HIV’s ability to mutate rapidly into new strains.

In the new studies, the scientists tested a protein called eOD-GT8 60mer developed in the Schief lab and tested in mice by the Nemazee lab to produce antibodies that resemble human antibodies.

“The vaccine appears to work well in our mouse model to ‘prime’ the antibody response,” added Nemazee.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.