Phase I clinical trial of an intranodally administered mRNA based therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 infection

Phase I clinical trial of an intranodally administered mRNA based therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 infection

Online publication: 13/11/2018 Journal: AIDS



The efficacy of therapeutic vaccines against HIV-1 infection has been modest. New inerts to redirect responses to vulnerable sites are urgently needed to improve these results.


We performed the first-in-human clinical trial with naked mRNA (iHIVARNA) combining a dendritic cell activation strategy (TriMix:CD40L+CD70+caTLR4 RNA) with a novel HIV immunogen sequences (HTI immunogen).


A dose escalation, phase I clinical trial was performed in 21 chronic HIV-1-infected patients under ART who received three intranodal doses of mRNA (weeks 0, 2 and 4) as follow: TriMix-100 g, TriMix-300 g, TriMix-300 g with HTI-300 g, TriMix-300 g with HTI-600 g, TriMix-300 g with HTI-900 g. Primary end-point was safety and secondary-exploratory end-points were immunogenicity, changes in viral reservoir and transcriptome.


Overall, the vaccine was secure and well tolerated. There were 31 grade 1/2 and 1 grade 3 adverse events, mostly unrelated to the vaccination. Patients who received the highest dose showed a moderate increase in T-cell responses spanning HTI sequence at week 8. In addition, the proportion of responders receiving any dose of HTI increased from 31% at w0 to 80% postvaccination. The intervention had no impact on caHIV-DNA levels, however, caHIV-RNA expression and usVL were transiently increased at weeks 5 and 6 in the highest dose of iHIVARNA, and these changes were positively correlated with HIV-1-specific-induced immune responses.


This phase I dose-escalating trial showed that iHIVARNA administration was safe and well tolerated, induced moderate HIV-specific T-cell responses and transiently increased different viral replication readouts. These data support further exploration of iHIVARNA in a phase II study. CLINICALTRIALS.



Authors: Leal L, Guardo AC, Morón-López S, Salgado M, Mothe B, Heirman C, Pannus P, Vanham G, Ham HJVD, Gruters R, Andeweg A, Van Meirvenne S, Pich J, Arnaiz JA, Gatell JM, Brander C, Thielemans K, Martínez-Picado J, Plana M, García F; iHIVARNA consortium

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