AELIX Therapeutics is a HIV vaccine development company focused on the development and clinical testing of HIV vaccine candidates. Founded in December 2015, the company closed a first round of investment of 11.5 mio and has hired 4 employees with offices at the Parc Scientific in Barcelona. The company works closely with investigators at leading HIV research institutions in Barcelona (Hospital Clinc and Irsicaixa) and other centers abroad. These collaborations ensure direct patient access and excellent clinical and laboratory monitoring of future clinical trials. A phase I clinical trial to test the safety of AELIX’s lead products is scheduled to start in the fall of 2016. A proof-of concept phase II trial in HIV infected individuals is envisioned to be completed by the end of 2019.
AELIX’s vaccine platform consists of a novel design of a HIV T cell immunogen sequence that is delivered by various vectors in HIV infected and uninfected individuals. The immunogen design is based on detailed immune analyses in more than one thousand HIV infected individuals from 4 continents and covering geographic areas where different clades of HIV dominate. Its design was completed within the HIVACAT program, the Catalan HIV vaccine program started in 2008. The initial clinical application of this new vaccine approach is focused on its use as an HIV-specific immunotherapy in already HIV infected individuals. The goal is to rejuvenate, re-educate or completely newly induce most effective CD4 and CD8 T cell responses to relatively conserved regions of the HIV proteome. Such responses are expected to act against a large portion of the global viral diversity and should allow infected individuals to avoid the need for life-long treatment with antiretroviral drugs. Strategic partnerships will be developed to conduct future large-scale clinical trials and to possibly further improve viral control by including additional immune-based strategies and compounds acting on latent viral reservoirs. With positive data in therapeutic proof-of-concept studies, AELIX will consider testing its lead candidate as a preventive vaccine as well.