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Crean vacuna contra el Sida más potente que antecesoras

Madrid 28/09/2011.- Un equipo de investigadores españoles ha creado un prototipo de vacuna contra el VIH "mucho más potente" que los desarrollados hasta ahora en todo el mundo, que ha conseguido una respuesta inmune en el 90 por ciento de las personas sanas a las que les ha sido inoculado.

El hallazgo fue presentado hoy en una conferencia de prensa por los responsables de la investigación, Mariano Esteban, del Centro Nacional de Biotecnología del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) de España; Felipe García, del Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, y Juan Carlos López Bernaldo de Quirós, del Hospital Gregorio Marañón de Madrid.

Después de presentar una alta eficacia en ratones y monos, comenzó el ensayo en seres humanos hace un año, con una fase I en la que se ha probado en treinta personas sanas elegidas entre 370 voluntarios.

El objetivo del estudio fue comprobar la capacidad preventiva de esta vacuna y fue "aleatorio y doble ciego", es decir, que los investigadores no decidieron a quién se suministraban las vacunas o el placebo y el personal del ensayo tampoco supo qué estaba administrando, explicó López Bernaldo de Quirós.

Durante el ensayo, seis personas recibieron placebo y 24 la vacuna. Estas últimas presentaron "escasos" y "leves" efectos secundarios (cefaleas, dolor en la zona de la inyección o malestar general), por lo que se puede afirmar que "la vacuna es segura para continuar con el desarrollo clínico del producto", subrayó el investigador.

El 95 por ciento de los pacientes generó defensas (normalmente responden en un 25 por ciento), pero además, mientras que otras vacunas estimulan células o anticuerpos, este prototipo "ha logrado estimular ambas", destacó Felipe García.

En el 85 por ciento de los pacientes, las defensas generadas se mantuvieron durante al menos un año, "que en este campo es bastante tiempo", agregó.

Los investigadores realizarán ahora un nuevo ensayo clínico, esta vez con voluntarios infectados por el VIH, con el objetivo de saber si el compuesto, además de prevenir, puede servir para tratar la enfermedad.

"Hemos probado que sirve como vacuna preventiva, y en octubre vacunaremos a personas infectadas con VIH para ver si además la vacuna sirve para curar, porque los tratamientos antirretrovirales (combinación de tres fármacos) tienen que tomarse de por vida, algo insostenible en lugares tan afectados por el sida como África", señaló García.

El prototipo de vacuna, bautizado como MVA-B, recibe su nombre del virus Vaccinia Modificado de Ankara (MVA), un virus atenuado que sirve como modelo en la investigación de múltiples vacunas.

Para fabricarla se han introducido cuatro genes del VIH (Gag, Pol, Nef y Env) en la secuencia genética de vaccinia.

Hasta ahora, el único ensayo de vacuna contra el VIH que ha llegado a la fase III se ha hecho en Tailandia (las fases I y II prueban la toxicidad del compuesto y su eficacia, mientras que las fases III y IV examinan la posología del medicamento).

Lo positivo de este ensayo es que "tenemos un prototipo muy potente, mucho más que el utilizado en Tailandia" y que alcanzó la fase III de pruebas, añadió.

El prototipo de vacuna, patentado por el CSIC español, está diseñado para combatir el subtipo B del virus del sida, el de mayor prevalencia en Europa, Estados Unidos, América Central y Sur y Caribe. El más extendido en África y Asia es el subtipo C.

Fuente: Fuente: www.vanguardia.com.mx

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