The International Alliance for Biological Standardization organized the second workshop on human challenge trials (HCT) in Rockville, MD, in September 2017. The objective of this meeting was to examine the use of HCT, in response to the continuing human suffering caused by infectious diseases, preventable by the development of new and improved vaccines. For this, the approach of HCT could be valuable, as HCT can provide key safety, tolerability, immunogenicity, and efficacy data, and can be used to study host-pathogen biology. HCT can generate these data with speed, efficiency and minimal expense, albeit not with the same level of robustness as clinical trials. Incorporated wisely into a clinical development plan, HCT can support optimization or down-selection of new vaccine candidates, assuring that only the worthiest candidates progress to field testing. HCT may also provide pivotal efficacy data in support of licensure, particularly when field efficacy studies are not feasible. Many aspects of HCT were discussed by the participants, including new and existing models, standardization and ethics. A consensus was achieved that HCT, if ethically justified and performed with careful attention to safety and informed consent, should be pursued to promote and accelerate vaccine development.
- Human challenge
- Infection models