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when will first therapeutic vaccine hit markets?
Aug 3, 2010

i have been on meds for almost 2 weeks and feel as if its already been decade popping up that poison every day,it makes me feel depressed and sick, recently i read about developments in field of immunotherapy and therapeutic vaccines of different companies, but they all seem to be in same phase 1/2 for almost last one decade, do these vaccines take so much time to be developed or tested before they are marketed or there is some conspiracy or intentional lethargic attitude not to move ahead at fast phase, so that the mounting profits are not hampered, please tell me what is the natural course of vaccine development and how long will it usually take for a firm to reach phase 3 and get approval, almost 30 years and still no vaccine, sounds bit annoying and specially for a person like me.please for god's sake give a clear cut answer as in when (in which year to be precise) we can expect first anti hiv therapeutic vaccine, or ill be dead by that time.... help and regards

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your post.

First thing. It may take a little time to adjust to taking meds, but if you are having significant side effects, you should discuss them with your health care provider. You may have other options or ways to make the side effects more tolerable.

There are several reasons for the delays in developing a therapeutic vaccine for HIV. They reflect the fact that the vast majority of people with HIV infection cannot contain the virus on their own. The virus is able to escape the immune system's attack.

Vaccines work best when you can inject a piece of the virus or bacteria into the blood and let the body recognize it and develop a reaction against it that will also contain the living bug. HIV can mutate quickly and adapts to the person it infects in order to evade being killed. By changing it's coat frequently there is nothing for an HIV vaccine to target.

Also, we have learned that in order to suppress HIV a vaccine will need to be able to generate both antibodies and killer cells. This may take 2 different types of vaccines given in a particular order.

So there are many puzzles that have to be solved: 1) Can we find a bit of the virus that can't mutate to develop into a vaccine target 2) If we do find this piece of the virus is it exposed and vulnerable to attack or is it buried deep inside and protected? 3) Can we develop a vaccine that is strong enough to stimulate the immune system especially after HIV has caused damsge 4) Can we develop the right mix of vaccines to boost and prime the response and stimulate both antibodies and killer cells 5) will the vaccine work against all the starins of HIV that are in circulation? 6) Will the protection from the vaccine be long-lived or will the virus be able to escape?

So it may take quite a while to work this out. The first step is that a person would have to have their HIV suppressed by medication, which you are taking the first steps to achieve. If HIV were growing it could wipe out the immune response to the vaccine before it has a chance to develop.

Keep up having hope, we are making strides to solve this very tough problem.

Best, Joe



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