ACU alum heads study of preventive AIDS vaccine
For immediate release
May 12, 1999
Dr. Stephen Tyring, a '73 graduate of ACU, is
spearheading a project at the University of Texas Medical
Branch initiating the first large-scale clinical trial to
test a preventive AIDS vaccine.
The vaccine is made by VaxGen Inc. of Brisbane, Calif.,
and is the first AIDS vaccine to make it to Phase III human
trials to test for effectiveness.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the trial
in June 1998. UTMB is the first test site in Texas.
This vaccine may or may not be proven to prevent HIV.
The study directors will not know its effectiveness until
the study concludes in 2002, but the intial trial may give
important information about AIDS vaccines in general.
"We're going to learn a lot about the immune reactions to
the principal components of the virus," said Tyring, UTMB
professor of dermatology, microbiology/immunology and
internal medicine, in an interview for Impact, a UTMB
newsletter. "Even if this doesn't turn out to be the AIDS
vaccine, it will contribute to knowledge that may lead to
one we can eventually use."
The study will operate by enrolling 5,000 people in the
United States who are at risk for contracting the virus
through sexual means, and another 2,500 people &endash;
intravenous drug users &endash; will be enrolled in
The vaccine is intended to work by prompting the body to
produce antibodies and other immune responses that will
linger to combat the AIDS virus if a person is later exposed
to the virus.
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- Last update: May 14, 1999
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