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Vaccines-for the HIV- community only or for POZies as well
Apr 11, 2001

Doctors,

Are the vaccines currently being evaluated for human trials targeted for only HIV- individuals or are they going to provide additional artillery for those that are HIV+...if only HIV-, would we expect to see reduced R&D for future drug development for HIV+ individuals if the vaccine and/or vaccines proved to be succesful? If the POZ market can be controlled in its size and scope why would drug companies continue to plow monies in a limited market?

Response from Dr. Pavia

So-called therapeutic vaccines are designed to improve the ability of an infected person to fight their infection, while preventive vaccines are meant to either prevent infection or prevent disease after infection in an HIV negative person. The two are overlapping but separate goals.

You ask about the market forces driving development, and I may not be the best person to answer, but here goes. Therapeutic vaccines are an attractive business proposition since many of the infected people who would use them could afford to pay for them. It is likely that antiviral drugs will need to be used at least initially with therapeutic vaccines to help the immune system recover enough to respond, so I doubt it will destroy the market.

The entire world is waiting for an effective preventive vaccine, both rich and poor countries alike. There are some complicated issues involved in trying to make it possible to generate enough revenue from the rich countries to pay for or justify giving the vaccine free or at cost to poor countries. Several groups are brainstorming on ways to do this (check out the international AIDS vaccine initiative at www.IAVI.org).

I am as cynical as the next guy about some things, but I think we can solve this, we must solve it, and with some grace, we will.

ATP



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