Lawrence Corey, M.D., Peter B. Gilbert, Ph.D., Michal Juraska, Ph.D., David C. Montefiori, Ph.D., Lynn Morris, Ph.D., Shelly T. Karuna, M.D., Srilatha Edupuganti, M.D., Nyaradzo M. Mgodi, M.B., Ch.B., M.Med., Allan C. deCamp, Ph.D., Erika Rudnicki, M.S.,. Two Randomized Trials of Neutralizing Antibodies to Prevent HIV-1 Acquisition. N Engl J Med. 2021, 384: 1003-1014. PMC8189692
BACKGROUND: Whether a broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) can be used to prevent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) acquisition is unclear. METHODS: We enrolled at-risk cisgender men and transgender persons in the Americas and Europe in the HVTN 704/HPTN 085 trial and at-risk women in sub-Saharan Africa in the HVTN 703/HPTN 081 trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive, every 8 weeks, infusions of a bnAb (VRC01) at a dose of either 10 or 30 mg per kilogram (low-dose group and high-dose group, respectively) or placebo, for 10 infusions in total. HIV-1 testing was performed every 4 weeks. The VRC01 80% inhibitory concentration (IC80) of acquired isolates was measured with the TZM-bl assay. RESULTS: Adverse events were similar in number and severity among the treatment groups within each trial. Among the 2699 participants in HVTN 704/HPTN 085, HIV-1 infection occurred in 32 in the low-dose group, 28 in the high-dose group, and 38 in the placebo group. Among the 1924 participants in HVTN 703/HPTN 081, infection occurred in 28 in the low-dose group, 19 in the high-dose group, and 29 in the placebo group. The incidence of HIV-1 infection per 100 person-years in HVTN 704/HPTN 085 was 2.35 in the pooled VRC01 groups and 2.98 in the placebo group (estimated prevention efficacy, 26.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -11.7 to 51.8; P = 0.15), and the incidence per 100 person-years in HVTN 703/HPTN 081 was 2.49 in the pooled VRC01 groups and 3.10 in the placebo group (estimated prevention efficacy, 8.8%; 95% CI, -45.1 to 42.6; P = 0.70). In prespecified analyses pooling data across the trials, the incidence of infection with VRC01-sensitive isolates (IC80 <1 mug per milliliter) per 100 person-years was 0.20 among VRC01 recipients and 0.86 among placebo recipients (estimated prevention efficacy, 75.4%; 95% CI, 45.5 to 88.9). The prevention efficacy against sensitive isolates was similar for each VRC01 dose and trial; VRC01 did not prevent acquisition of other HIV-1 isolates. CONCLUSIONS: VRC01 did not prevent overall HIV-1 acquisition more effectively than placebo, but analyses of VRC01-sensitive HIV-1 isolates provided proof-of-concept that bnAb prophylaxis can be effective. (Supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; HVTN 704/HPTN 085 and HVTN 703/HPTN 081 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT02716675 and NCT02568215.).