This program focuses on vaccine candidates for HIV-1 based on two replication-defective chimpanzee (chimp) adenovirus (Ad) vectors, termed AdC6 and AdC7. The program has four interlinked goals. Our first goal is to pursue clinical development of AdC6 and AdC7 vectors expressing gag of HIV-1 to test the safety of each vector in dose-escalation phase I trials, and to assess the immunogenicity of both vectors combined in a heterologous prime boost regimen in a phase IIA trial. Clinical trials will be conducted under the auspices of the NIAID-sponsored HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). Our second goal is to further optimize the AdC6 and AdC7 vectors for later stage clinical trials. Our third goal is a research objective to define the quality of T cell responses to AdC6/AdC7 prime boost regimens in both experimental animals and human vaccine recipients. Evidence is mounting that different vaccine regimens not only influence the magnitude but also the quality of the ensuing cellular immune responses, and that this quality substantially influences progression of HIV-1 infections toward disease. Vaccine-induced correlates of protection against HIV-1 associated illness remain poorly defined, which has made it difficult to compare the clinical potential of the vectors considered as platforms for a candidate HIV vaccine.
We aim to carefully define pertinent characteristics of the cellular immune responses elicited by chimp Ad vector prime boost regimens in preclinical models, and how such characteristics correlate with protection against challenge with model pathogens. Our fourth goal is to elucidate the effect of pre-existing T cells to conserved antigens of Ads on the performance of chimp Ad vectors as vaccine carriers. The prevalence of such T cells will be determined in human cohorts from the US and Africa. Their effect on vaccine-induced T cell responses will first be assessed in experimental animals and then in human vaccine recipients. Definition of the characteristics of effective immune responses in animals with comparison studies in human vaccine recipients will advance our understanding of the correlates of immune protection to be pursued in future efforts of AIDS vaccine development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Program--Cooperative Agreements (U19)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1-RB-A (J1))
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Pensiero, Michael N
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Wistar Institute
United States
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Emmer, Kristel L; Wieczorek, Lindsay; Tuyishime, Steven et al. (2016) Antibody responses to prime-boost vaccination with an HIV-1 gp145 envelope protein and chimpanzee adenovirus vectors expressing HIV-1 gp140. AIDS 30:2405-2414
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