Merck's HIV vaccine linked to higher infections rate

Merck researchers have gone deep into the data for its recently shelved HIV vaccine and found evidence that the therapy may have actually made patients more likely to get an infection. Looking at the results of a study of 3,000 volunteers, researchers found that 49 of 914 people receiving the vaccine were infected with HIV compared to the 33 infections recorded among the 922 people in the placebo arm. The trial was shuttered after researchers concluded that the Merck vaccine had failed to reduce HIV levels or prevent infections.

"We don't really know the reasons for this," Keith Gottesdiener, vice president of vaccine and infectious-disease clinical research at Merck, told the WSJ. "We're still studying very hard to try to understand why that might have occurred."

- read the report from The Wall Street Journal