Cincinnati Testing CMV Vaccine Candidate

Hookipa Pharma HB-101 is an investigational vaccine preventing cytomegalovirus
skyline view of Cincinnati
(Precision Vaccinations News)

The University of Cincinnati (UC) health system announced it will serve as one of several international locations to test an investigational vaccine to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV). 

This is an important phase 1 clinical study, since CMV is a common infection in over half of the population between 6 and 49 years of age, in both the United States and Europe.

This study is designed to learn more about the safety and effectiveness of the HB-101 vaccine candidate at preventing the CMV infection in people who are CMV-negative, and who receive kidney transplants from living donors who are CMV-positive. 

HB-101 is an investigational vaccine believed to help prevent CMV infection after kidney transplant by forming antibodies and stimulating immune cells against CMV. 

“UC was chosen to be part of this study because of our expertise in transplant clinical care and research,” says Rita Alloway, PharmD, research professor in the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine. 

The study will enroll 150 transplant patients at as many as 40 sites around the world over approximately 18 months. The study will be conducted at UC Medical Center, the flagship hospital of the UC Health system. 

“This study is conducted in the living donor population because the transplant is a scheduled surgery, allowing for vaccination prior to the transplant procedure,” says Dr. Alloway. 

“Therefore, when we administer either the vaccine or the placebo prior to transplant, then monitor the patients for the next 12 months for CMV infection, we can determine if there is a benefit from the vaccine or not.” 

Once someone has CMV, they have it for life, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

CMV is typically contracted through bodily fluid or through organ transplants. But, most people infected with CMV show no signs or symptoms. 

“Having an effective vaccine that developed protective antibodies prior to transplant and prevented CMV disease would have the benefit of reducing additional medications as prophylaxis post-transplant, decrease adverse events, and potentially eliminate CMV disease as common post-transplant infection,” Dr. Alloway said in a press release.

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This research demonstrates UC’s commitment to urban health as part of the Urban Impact platform in its strategic direction Next Lives Here.

Funds are provided by Hookipa Pharma to support this clinical research. No researcher conflict of interest was disclosed.


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