Background: The Pox-Protein Public-Private Partnership is performing a suite of trials to evaluate the bivalent subtype C envelope protein (TV1.C and 1086.C glycoprotein 120) vaccine in the context of different adjuvants and priming agents for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) prevention.
Methods: In the HIV Vaccine Trials Network 111 trial, we compared the safety and immunogenicity of DNA prime followed by DNA/protein boost with DNA/protein coadministration injected intramuscularly via either needle/syringe or a needle-free injection device (Biojector). One hundred thirty-two healthy, HIV-1-uninfected adults were enrolled from Zambia, South Africa, and Tanzania and were randomized to 1 of 6 arms: DNA prime, protein boost by needle/syringe; DNA and protein coadministration by needle/syringe; placebo by needle/syringe; DNA prime, protein boost with DNA given by Biojector; DNA and protein coadministration with DNA given by Biojector; and placebo by Biojector.
Results: All vaccinations were safe and well tolerated. DNA and protein coadministration was associated with increased HIV-1 V1/V2 antibody response rate, a known correlate of decreased HIV-1 infection risk. DNA administration by Biojector elicited significantly higher CD4+ T-cell response rates to HIV envelope protein than administration by needle/syringe in the prime/boost regimen (85.7% vs 55.6%; P = .02), but not in the coadministration regimen (43.3% vs 48.3%; P = .61).
Conclusions: Both the prime/boost and coadministration regimens are safe and may be promising for advancement into efficacy trials depending on whether cellular or humoral responses are desired.
Clinical trials registration: South African National Clinical Trials Registry (application 3947; Department of Health [DoH] no. DOH-27-0715-4917) and ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02997969).
Keywords: Biojector; DNA prime/protein boost; HIV vaccine; subtype C.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.