Doctors Beatriz Motheand Lucía Bailónfrom the HIV research team at the Fundació Lluita Contra les Infectionsand the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital have received the “European Hector Research Award in HIV 2023” for the results of theAELIX-002 clinical trial carried out with the therapeutic HIV vaccine from ALEIX Therapeutics, designed atIrsiCaixa.The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine in October 2022 and the project was supported by the Glòria Soler Foundation, among others. The goal of this vaccine is to stimulate the immune system in a similar way to how people who control the HIV virus spontaneously without antiretroviral treatment do.
The AELIX-002 study revealed that the vaccines were not only safe but also capable of enhancing the immune response against HIV in the volunteers who received them. Moreover, those participants who exhibited a more robust immune response were able to sustain longer periods without antiretroviral treatment and had fewer viruses compared to individuals who either did not receive the vaccine or did not respond to it. This finding underscores the vaccine’s potential to educate the immune system for improved virus response, paving the way for combining HTI vaccines with other agents to achieve enhanced responses in a broader range of participants.
“The favorable outcomes of this trial demonstrate the possibility of eliciting an immune response in individuals living with HIV, enabling them to enhance virus suppression even without antiretroviral medication,” says Dr. Beatriz Mothe, doctor and researcher at theFight Against Infections Foundation and the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, as well as principal researcher of the study.