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Home Industry News MSD discontinues enrolment in HIV vaccine candidate trial

MSD discontinues enrolment in HIV vaccine candidate trial

25th September 2007

Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has announced that it has ended vaccination and further enrolment in the phase II clinical trial of its investigational vaccine candidate against HIV.

The company reports that V520 is being discontinued due the the lack of efficacy of the compound, with this announcement made by the company and its co-sponsor for the trial – the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.

In the Step trial, uninfected volunteers at a high risk of contracting HIV infection were enrolled in the phase II test of concept trial, while the interim review from the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board revealed that the vaccine would not meet its endpoints in efficacy.

Peter S Kim, president of Merck Research Laboratories at MSD, said: “We share in the disappointment of the research and HIV communities today.

“Sadly, developing an effective Aids vaccine remains one of the most challenging tasks facing modern medicine.”

He added that the company’s two-decade research programme has enhanced scientific understanding of HIV and led to the development of genuine breakthrough drugs, while the firm would continue to study trial data and share findings with the scientific community.

In May 2006, the European Academies Science Advisory Council argued that the European Commission should do more to promote improved research into vaccines.

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