A new generation of engineered vaccine candidates enters clinical testing
At AIDS 2018, one message that will come out loud and clear is that more than 30 years later, AIDS isn’t over. If the upcoming conference sets the tone for the HIV/AIDS response, it will hopefully be that while there is still a long road to ending AIDS, the path is finally becoming clearer. And this is, in part, because of advances in HIV prevention research. While the use of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis—a daily antiretroviral to prevent HIV infection—picks up steam, so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies are revolutionizing vaccine research and HIV prevention efforts more broadly. For the first time, researchers are advancing a new class of vaccine candidates specifically engineered to kickstart the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies that can face up to the extreme genetic variation of the virus and all its circulating forms. In this issue, we detail this exciting progress as well as the advances in developing the broadly neutralizing antibodies themselves for HIV prevention, an effort referred to as passive administration.
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