Gates Foundation Gives Institute of Human Virology $15 Million Grant for Research on HIV Vaccine, Maryland Gov. O'Malley Announces
August 1, 2007
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine a five-year, $15 million grant to develop a potential HIV vaccine, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced Tuesday, the Washington Post reports (Rein, Washington Post, 8/1).
The vaccine candidate works by intercepting the virus before it can enter the body's cells and attack the immune system's response to an infection, the Post reports. It would give antibodies the best chance of working against the various strains of HIV, Gallo said at a press conference in Annapolis, Md. The vaccine candidate also has the potential to eliminate HIV from infected cells, according to Gallo. "We have a vaccine candidate that we think is extremely interesting and unique in its properties," Gallo said. He added that he hopes to begin clinical trials next year (Washington Post, 8/1).
Albert Reece, dean of the Maryland School of Medicine, said, "Seeing the end of HIV/AIDS is still a dream," but Gallo's research is a "positive step toward seeing that dream come through." O'Malley said efforts such as this could help the U.S. "unleash the weapons of salvation" and increase Maryland's efforts to become a center of biotechnology. A Gates Foundation spokesperson was not available for comment, according to the Baltimore Sun (Bor, Baltimore Sun, 8/1).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.