Merck ends HIV vaccine trial

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 15, 2007

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A phase II study of an HIV vaccine has been halted because an interim analysis revealed that it did not work, said Merck & Co., one of the project's sponsors.

The vaccine, comprised of three synthetically produced HIV genes carried by a modified adenovirus, was being tested in approximately 3,000 volunteers at high risk of infection. A review by the trial's independent data safety monitoring board showed that this immunization neither prevented infection nor reduced the amount of virus circulating in the blood of those who contracted it.

"Sadly, developing an effective AIDS vaccine remains one of the most challenging tasks facing modern medicine," said Peter S. Kim, PhD, president of Merck Research Laboratories.

The trial was co-sponsored by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, which is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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