A young female scientist and her senior male supervisor looking at the results from a preclinical trial.

A new preclinical trail shows promise towards finding an answer to the HIV virus.

The race to stop the spread of HIV continues. Despite the best efforts of doctors and researchers, new cases of the viral infection continue to crop up. That is why a preclinical trial is important. Halting this spread depends on finding solutions that work, and are also cost effective so as to be readily available in poorer countries. The urgency is more critical than ever before, yet there is the promise of effective vaccines, new treatments, and perhaps a cure someday. While the search for better treatments and cures is at its peak, an HIV vaccine option has emerged that has the scientific community buzzing. To date, it has proven successful in two preclinical trials.

A Second Preclinical Trial Confirms the Results

The HIV vaccine in question is designed to prevent infection obtained via mucosal membranes. Specifically, it has been tested both times in conditions that mimic male-to-female contact, with the male being the one infected and the female receiving the vaccine. A second line of defense that’s designed into the vaccine is to protect against infection by generating blood antibodies. A similar preclinical trial was first conducted in China, where results showed enough promise to warrant the study be done again, but on a slightly larger scale. It was this second study that produced excitement at the promise of a potential new vaccine. Just as the first study was successful, the second preclinical trial repeated those results. Even with repeated exposure to the virus, the vaccines were able to stave off infection. Not only that, each exposure was up to 100,000 times the normal dose of HIV passed from human to human.

What now? A component of the vaccine has been tried on human participants. This first phase of clinical trials yielded positive results, especially in regards to safety and tolerance. This particular vaccine has other benefits its designers implemented that give it global appeal. For instance, it will be tested and available in liquid form and needle-free. This is done with the goal of making it readily affordable to countries or areas with limited resources in order to reach as many as possible.