Pharmacokinetic serum concentrations of VRC01 correlate with prevention of HIV-1 acquisition

EBioMedicine. 2023 Jul:93:104590. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2023.104590. Epub 2023 Jun 8.


Background: The phase 2b proof-of-concept Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) trials showed that VRC01, an anti-HIV-1 broadly neutralising antibody (bnAb), prevented acquisition of HIV-1 sensitive to VRC01. To inform future study design and dosing regimen selection of candidate bnAbs, we investigated the association of VRC01 serum concentration with HIV-1 acquisition using AMP trial data.

Methods: The case-control sample included 107 VRC01 recipients who acquired HIV-1 and 82 VRC01 recipients who remained without HIV-1 during the study. We measured VRC01 serum concentrations with a qualified pharmacokinetic (PK) Binding Antibody Multiplex Assay. We employed nonlinear mixed effects PK modelling to estimate daily-grid VRC01 concentrations. Cox regression models were used to assess the association of VRC01 concentration at exposure and baseline body weight, with the hazard of HIV-1 acquisition and prevention efficacy as a function of VRC01 concentration. We also compared fixed dosing vs. body weight-based dosing via simulations.

Findings: Estimated VRC01 concentrations in VRC01 recipients without HIV-1 were higher than those in VRC01 recipients who acquired HIV-1. Body weight was inversely associated with HIV-1 acquisition among both placebo and VRC01 recipients but did not modify the prevention efficacy of VRC01. VRC01 concentration was inversely correlated with HIV-1 acquisition, and positively correlated with prevention efficacy of VRC01. Simulation studies suggest that fixed dosing may be comparable to weight-based dosing in overall predicted prevention efficacy.

Interpretation: These findings suggest that bnAb serum concentration may be a useful marker for dosing regimen selection, and operationally efficient fixed dosing regimens could be considered for future trials of HIV-1 bnAbs.

Funding: Was provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (UM1 AI068614, to the HIV Vaccine Trials Network [HVTN]; UM1 AI068635, to the HVTN Statistical Data and Management Center [SDMC], Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center [FHCC]; 2R37 054165 to the FHCC; UM1 AI068618, to HVTN Laboratory Center, FHCC; UM1 AI068619, to the HPTN Leadership and Operations Center; UM1 AI068613, to the HIV Prevention Trials Network [HPTN] Laboratory Center; UM1 AI068617, to the HPTN SDMC; and P30 AI027757, to the Center for AIDS Research, Duke University (AI P30 AI064518) and University of Washington (P30 AI027757) Centers for AIDS Research; R37AI054165 from NIAID to the FHCC; and OPP1032144 CA-VIMC Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Keywords: Body weight-based dosing; Broadly neutralising antibodies; HIV; Prevention.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Vaccines*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / drug therapy
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies
  • HIV Antibodies
  • HIV Infections*
  • HIV Seropositivity* / drug therapy
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans


  • Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • HIV Antibodies
  • AIDS Vaccines