New Delhi: The HIV vaccine being developed in India has undergone the first phase of clinical trials and experts say no side effects have been reported.
“The first phase of clinical trials for the HIV vaccine being produced in India has already been accomplished in December 2010. It is being carried out down south with help from international agencies. No side effects have been reported,” Dr V M Katoch, DG, Indian Council of Medical Research said.
“We are hopeful about this vaccine as it works on the most commonest strain of virus found in India. There is no haste in carrying out the trials. A similar vaccine produced in Thailand was found to be only 30 per cent effective. We want to make this vaccine being developed here effective,” he said.
He said that a Phase I trial primarily seeks information on safety, particularly looking for any vaccine-related side effects.
Vaccines are first tested in laboratory and animal studies for safety and immunogenicity. If results are favorable, a vaccine must successfully complete several phases of testing in people before it can gain approval for licensing and marketing to the public.
India currently figures among the top countries with the highest incidence of HIV infection around the world.
“We have 25 lakh to 30 lakh people in India already effected by HIV,” he said.
ICMR is also working on ways to beat resistance to HIV drugs.
“We are trying a combination of drugs as a treatment modality to beat resistance.The National AIDS Control Society is helping us in this regard,” he said.
Scientist from the Tuberculosis Research Centre (TRC) in Chennai and National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata with help from international agency – International AIDS Vaccine Initiative – began work on the vaccine in 2008.