El País / Emilio de Benito) A new experimental HIV vaccine being tested at Spanish hospitals has yielded good results at a Phase I clinical trial, offering some hope where most other drugs have failed. Although Phase I, the lowest testing level, only establishes that the drug is not harmful, this is only the second time that an HIV vaccine has even reached this stage. Work with MVA-B, so called because it is based on a virus called MVA, was conducted at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid and the Clínic in Barcelona, where besides confirming that the drug was not harmful to volunteer patients' health, investigators were able to study their immune response, which was described as promising. One of the researchers, Juan Carlos López Bernaldo de Quirós, said that the drug's safety is "optimal" and "similar to other vaccines." A research colleague, Felipe García, said that it was also "able to induce defenses" against the virus in 95 percent of the 24 patients, including antibodies and lymphocytes. Research director Mariano Esteban said that in the best of cases, Phase III could begin within five years. Their results were published in the Journal of Virology and Vaccine.