Safety Evaluation of GX-12, a New HIV Therapeutic Vaccine: Investigation of Integration into the Host Genome and Expression in the Reproductive OrgansKang K.K. · Choi S.M. · Choi J.H. · Lee D.S. · Kim C.Y. · Ahn B.O. · Kim B.M. · Kim W.B.
Research Laboratories, Dong-A Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Yongin-shi, Kyunggi-do, Korea
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AIDS is one of the greatest infectious disease threats to human health despite the extensive efforts made since the discovery of HIV in 1983. The use of plasmid DNA vaccination to elicit humoral and cell-mediated immune responses against HIV infection has produced promising results in animal and in human trials. However, there are several safety concerns about the use of a DNA vaccine, which include the possibility of integration into the host genome, adverse immunopathology, and anti-DNA autoantibody induction. In this study, we examined the potential integration and distribution of GX-12, a new therapeutic vaccine for HIV infection, at various times in muscles and reproductive organs of rats. Animals of both sexes were injected with GX-12 at the dose of 400 µg/animal i.m. once a week for 4 weeks, and host genome integration and tissue distribution were examined on day 1, 5, 15, 30 and 45 days after the final injection. A PCR-based assay revealed that GX-12 was not integrated into the host genome, nor expressed in reproductive organs at any time. These findings suggest that the risk of mutation or germline transmission due to GX-12 injection is negligible.
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