Janssen Pharmaceuticals stops development of experimental HIV vaccine

Initial tests of an experimental vaccine against HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS, have shown that it does not work. That is why the US health department announced on Thursday that the Flemish pharmaceutical company Janssen is stopping its research on the vaccine.

The vaccine has been tested on about 3,900 people aged 18 to 60 from Europe, North America and South America since 2019. The subjects were transgender people and men who have sex with men. Over one year, they received four shots. The vaccine contained components of different versions of HIV, and the idea was that this would help the immune system learn to recognise and eliminate the virus.

Some people in the test were given the vaccine itself. Others were given a saline solution with no active ingredient, a placebo. About the same number of HIV infections subsequently occurred in both groups; the vaccine made no difference. According to the NIH, the vaccine is safe to use and has no harmful side effects.

Janssens Pharma was founded in Flanders in 1953 and is currently owned by the American company Johnson & Johnson.




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