No adverse effects in volunteers following Phase I clinical trial of Sumagen AIDS vaccine
SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 - Sumagen Canada Inc and Western University announced today that the Phase I Clinical Trial (SAV CT 01) of the first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus (SAV001-H) has been successfully completed with no adverse effects in all patients. Antibody production was also boosted after vaccination.
Developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and his team at Western University's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, with the
support of Sumagen Canada, the vaccine (SAV001-H) holds tremendous promise for success in the final phases of clinical testing now
that the first hurdle has been accomplished. It is the only HIV vaccine currently under development in Canada, and one of only a
few in the world. The first human applied clinical study (SAV CT 01) using a genetically modified killed whole-virus vaccine
(SAV001-H) to evaluate its safety and tolerability was initiated in March 2012. This study is a randomized,
observer-blinded, placebo-controlled study of killed whole HIV-1 vaccine (SAV001-H) following
intramuscular (IM) administration. Infected men and women, 18 to 50 years of age, have been
enrolled in this study and randomized into two treatment groups to administer killed whole HIV-1 vaccine (SAV001-H) or placebo.
The adverse effects after vaccination were recorded on a volunteer diary card by the volunteers seven days after vaccination. Thereafter,
the volunteers visited the test sites on Weeks 4, 6, 12, 18, 26 and 52 after vaccination and were analyzed for hematology, clinical
chemistry, urinalysis and physical examination by principal investigators. No serious adverse event was observed in any volunteer
vaccinees throughout the observation periods.
In addition to safety evaluation, HIV-1 specific antibody detections have been performed throughout the follow up period. The
antibody against p24 capsid antigen increased as much as 64-fold in some vaccinees and antibody against gp120 surface antigen
increased up to eight-fold after vaccination. The increased antibody titers were maintained during the 52 week study period.
The boost antibody production in HIV-positive volunteer vaccinees is highly encouraging, since it forecasts a success of
the Phase 2 human clinical trial, which will measure the immune responses.
In particular, the antibody against gp120 surface antigen is considered to be very important, since some of these antibodies may represent
the broadly neutralizing antibodies, which seem to be the most important parameter of an effective HIV vaccine for prevention of
SAV001-H is the first genetically modified killed whole virus vaccine (SAV001-H) in human clinical trial and proving its safety
was the major concern for going forward for next steps. With these encouraging results from the Phase I Clinical Trial, Sumagen
is confident in developing SAV001-H as the first preventative HIV vaccine for saving millions of lives and is now preparing
for the next phases of trials to show the immunogenicity and efficacy.
Sumagen anticipates not only having the first HIV vaccine in market but also the eradication of HIV/AIDS for human beings.
Mr. Jung-Gee Cho, the CEO of Sumagen Co. Ltd. says, "Even though Sumagen has struggled and spent a much longer time to overcome
manufacturing difficulties and to meet the U.S. FDA's requirements, we have accomplished successfully Phase I Clinical Trial of
SA001-H and proven that there is no safety concern of SAV001-H in human administration. We are now prepared to take the next
steps towards Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. We are opening the gate to pharmaceutical companies, government, and
charity organization for collaboration to be one step closer to the first commercialized HIV vaccine."
HIV/AIDS has killed 35 million people worldwide, and more than 34 million people currently live with the virus infection. Since the virus
was characterized in 1983, there have been numerous trials through pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions around the world to
develop vaccines; however, no vaccine has been successful to date. Other HIV vaccines evaluated through human clinical trials have
focused on either one specific component of HIV as an antigen, genetic vaccine using recombinant DNA, or recombinant viruses
carrying the HIV genes. Kang's vaccine is unique in that it uses a killed whole HIV-1, much like the killed whole virus
vaccines for polio, influenza, rabies and hepatitis A. The HIV-1 is genetically engineered so it is safer and can be
produced in large quantities.
Through WORLDiscoveries, Western's technology transfer office, Sumagen Canada has secured patents for the SAV001 vaccine in more than 70
countries, including the U.S., the European Union, China, India and South Korea. The vaccine has been manufactured at a bio-safety
level 3 (BSL3) good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility in the U.S.
About Sumagen Canada
Located in The Stiller Centre for Technology Commercialization in Western's Research Park in London, Ontario, Sumagen
Canada was established in 2008 specifically to manage and support clinical development of Kang's vaccine. Sumagen
Canada is a subsidiary of Sumagen Co. Ltd., a Korean-based pharmaceutical venture company.
About Western University
Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic
excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our
communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western
attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.
Media contact: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, Western University: 519-661-2111,
ext. 85165 (office); 519-520-7281 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to media:
Western has a live television broadcast studio on campus. To coordinate interviews, please call 519-661-2111, ext. 85165.
Source: Western University
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