This Project is designed to pursue clinical development of two replication-defective chimpanzee (chimp) adenovirus (Ad) vectors, termed AdC6 and AdC7. We developed the chimp Ad vectors to circumvent preexisting neutralizing antibodies, which are commonly found in humans to human serotypes of adenoviruses and which reduce uptake of the corresponding Ad vectors and hence their ability to induce transgene product-specific immune responses. Neutralizing antibodies to AdC6 and AdC7 are rare in humans residing in the US or Asia, and lower in Sub-Saharan Africans than antibodies against other Ad vectors currently in testing. AdC6 and AdC7 vectors expressing antigens of HIV-1 or SIV induce potent and sustained T cell mediated immune responses in experimental animals, which increase upon sequential use of the two vectors in prime boost regimens. In rhesus macaques primed with AdC7 vectors or Ad vectors of the human serotype 5 (AdHuS) and then challenged with SHIV89.6P, AdC7 primed NHPs showed better control of viral load and less loss of CD4+ T cells compared to animals primed with the AdHuS vectors. Similar to AdHuS, AdC6 and AdC7 vectors are genetically stable, exhibit suitable growth characteristics, and production and quality control of vectors have been established. We are proposing to develop AdC6 and AdC7 vectors for initial early phase human clinical trials that express gag of HIV-1 clade B (AdCGHIVgag, AdC7HIVgag). Clinical data on AdHuS based HIV-1 gag vaccines are available and this will allow for a comparison with the chimp Ad vectors. Pre-clinical development and testing of AdC6 and AdC7 vectors expressing additional sequences of HIV-1 for their potential use in future large scale clinical trials will be pursued by Project 2 of this application.In this application we plan to initiate two phase I trials which will address the safety and tolerability of the AdC6 and AdC7 vectors in separate dose escalation trials in human volunteers. In addition, since we do not expect that a single dose of a vaccine, as can be tested in the phase I trials, will result in impressive HIV-1 antigen-specific immune responses, we are proposing a phase IIA trial in which the two chimp Ad vectors are tested in a prime boost regimen, using each vector twice in a 4-dose regimen in human volunteers. We will conduct the clinical trials through HVTN, which is best poised to recruit and enroll human volunteers, conduct the trial in adherence to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines for ethical conduct of research involving human subjects and requisite standards and reporting requirements of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), ensure trial compliance, and assess vaccine safety and immunogenicity using sophisticated and validated assays. Studies by HVTN will be complemented by studies of Project 3, which will assess in human volunteers the quality of vaccine-induced gag-specific T cell responses in relationship to pre-existing immunity to the vaccine carrier.

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)
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Wistar Institute
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