South African Scientists to Begin Manufacturing New Vaccines Aimed at Preventing AIDS
September 27, 2002
South African scientists announced plans Thursday to begin manufacturing three new vaccines they hope will eventually provide protection against AIDS. The vaccines, which were lab tested on mice and primates, show great potential, said Associate Professor Anna-Lise Williamson of the University of Cape Town's Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine. The development of a vaccine is seen as imperative to stopping further spread of the epidemic.
Although most scientists are confident a vaccine is possible, they are uncertain of what exactly to put in it. For that reason, more than a dozen candidate vaccines are at various stages of testing worldwide in the hope that at least one will work. Clinical trials are already under way in the United States, Thailand, Britain, Kenya, India, Haiti, Brazil, Peru and South Africa.
The vaccines developed by the University of Cape Town are to be manufactured and tested in the United States and Britain. They will be produced using genetic material from the strain of HIV most commonly found in Southern Africa. By inserting harmless pieces of HIV into human cells, the scientists hope to stimulate the production of antibodies that will provide immunity against the virus.
Small-scale human clinical trials of the vaccine could begin as early as next year, said Dr. Tim Tucker, director of the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The initiative, which was established by the government three years ago, will contribute 10 million rand (US$1 million) toward producing and testing the vaccines, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health will give about 20 million rand (US$2 million).
09.26.02; Mike Cohen
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.