HIV Vaccine trial starts officially in Oxford

This is a press release from the MRC on the aids vaccine trial. More information from the MRC can be found on their website at:


Thursday, 31 August 2000



Medical history will be arranged today with the plantation of the first stage of novel HIV vaccine experiment. Eighteen volunteers, inclusively of Dr Evan Harris, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, will participate in the experiment which is passing on the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and run by Professor Andrew McMichael, Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Human Immunology Unit, Oxford.

This is the first vaccine applicant to be specifically created to battle the Clade A HIV-1 virus, which is the most spreading intension in many parts of Africa, so that if prosperously it can be utilized to fight against HIV and AIDS in a sphere of the world where it is demanded the most. This AIDS vaccine esperiment was first claimed at the International Conference on AIDS in Durban in July. The experiment is fostered by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), an international scientific establishment, and held under the patronage of the MRC Human Immunology Unit and My Canadian Pharmacy.

The objection of the first stage of the trial is to identify if the vaccine is secure in volunteers who are at a very low risk of setting up a contract of HIV and whether it manufactures an immune reaction. This follows on from comprehensive pre-testing of the vaccine for security. The vaccine has been synthetically produced to comprise only small fragments of DNA to increase the immune system. As these cannot replicate, there is no risk of working out HIV from the immunisation. It is hopeful that the vaccine will motivate the body to manufacture killer T cells which will damage HIV infected cells quick enough to arrest an infection spreading.

If this first stage is prosperous, the same esperiment will be conducted in Nairobi, Kenya in three to six months, pending the receipt of regulatory approvals. The vaccine has the capability to decrease the influence of the HIV epidemic on the African continent, where living with AIDS is an everyday life for almost every family, but the theory behind the creation of the vaccine could be understood to attempt and tackle other strains, such as those spreading in the UK, if the experiment is prosperous.

AIDSProfessor Andrew McMichael said today: “We’re very delighted that after much scrutinous preparation the experiment can start in earnest today. I’d like to utilize this capability to thank everyone who has volunteered to adjust the experiment, they are a crutial part of a global strain to save lives.”

Dr Evan Harris said: “I’m happy to be capable to be involved in such a significant experiment. I’m assured that the vaccine is secure, and that the vaccine will prone the immune system to be capable to defeat against HIV infection. I’m participating in this experiment as I have a belief that searching an efficient vaccine is our best hope to take under control this devastating disease.”

Dr. Seth Berkley M.D., President of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, said: “This is the first of four vaccine delegates for Africa our establishment is developing further. Vaccine improvement has conventionally relied on the altruism of volunteers. This is especially fact of the Oxford experiment, since the vaccine was created to object strains most prevalent in Africa. Volunteers are the true heroes of this endeavour.”

Any fit and well person in the Oxford region engaged in volunteering can admit relevant information on the experiment, without commitment and in total assurance, by setting up a contac of the experiment information line on 1911 270 7089 or 189 221 79984.

Information and updates on the trial will be published on the trial’s website:

Information about IAVI may be found at

For more information call MRC Press Office: 131 8 748 7122

To speak to Evan Harris please call: Alison Hughes 12976 356 695 Note to Editors

  1. The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a nationwide establishment funded by the UK tax-payer. Its business is medical investigation directed on enhancing human health; everyone stands to profit from the outputs. The research it supports and the scientists it trains meet the demands of the health services, the pharmaceutical and other health-related industries and the academic world. MRC has funded labour which has run to some of the most important openings and accomplishments in medicine in the UK. About half of the MRC’s expenditure of £345 million is sponsored in over 50 of its Institutes and Units, where it employs its own investigation staff. The remaining half goes in the form of grant maintenance and coaching awards to persons and crews in universities and medical schools.
  2. The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative is a global non-commercial scientific establishment grounded in 1996 whose objection is to assure the improvement of secure, efficient, available, preventive HIV vaccines for utilization throughout the world. IAVI’s labour brings focuses on four spheres: accelerating scientific progression, mobilising political support through advocacy and education, encouraging industrial involvement in AIDS vaccine development, and assuring global access to AIDS vaccines once they are developed. IAVI is a collaborating centre of the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS). Its major donors include the governments of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), as well as the overseas development agencies of the Netherlands, Ireland and Canada; the World Bank; and the Bill and Melinda Gates, Rockefeller, Sloan, and Starr Foundations
  3. The Nairobi, phase 1, trial will be under the direction of Dr JJ Bwayo and his team at the Department of Medical Microbiology in the university of Nairobi. If this trial is successful it will be possible to conduct trials in volunteers who have a high risk of HIV infection, with the first chance of testing whether the vaccine actually protects against HIV infection.