Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson will soon begin testing an experimental HIV vaccine in the U.S. and Europe sometime this year, according to Bloomberg News.
The experimental vaccine, described as a “mosaic-based preventative immunization,” is made up of four components that target several strains the HIV virus.
The vaccine utilizes an altered cold virus to create a group of “mosaic” proteins that will elicit immune responses to a variety of strains.
Approximately 3,800 men who have sex with men are expected to take part in the trial set to begin later this year. The participants will receive a series of six shots in four sessions.
Dan Barouch, a Harvard Medical School professor who has worked on the vaccine for years, told Bloomberg the J&J vaccine has provided protection in up to two-thirds of tested animals.
Additionally, another version of the mosaic vaccine is currently being tested across five countries in southern Africa. Some 2,600 women are enrolled in that study called “Imbokodo.”
According to J&J, “Imbokodo” is the Zulu word for ‘rock’ which is part of a well-known proverb in South Africa that refers to the strength of women and their importance in the community.
Results from Imbokodo are expected in 2021.