Canada: AIDS Vaccine Poised for Human Tests
November 14, 2008
Animal toxicology trials of an experimental Canadian AIDS vaccine could begin within days, the University of Western Ontario-London announced Wednesday. The vaccine candidate was developed by UWO virologist Dr. Chil-Yong Kang. The animal testing will take place at a US research facility and may yield results in three months, Kang said. Phase I human trials could begin in early spring.
The vaccine uses whole, deactivated HIV-1, an approach similar to the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk, Kang said. "We have engineered a virus in such a way that it can be produced in larger quantities in shorter periods of time and it is also non-pathogenic," he said. "In other words, it doesn't cause the disease. We have tested animals and they do respond to the vaccine, and we now have to try it in humans."
The product will be tested in HIV patients who have not progressed to AIDS, said Kang.
The university also announced it is one of four Canadian organizations bidding for a grant to construct an HIV vaccine manufacturing facility. The plant would be scaled for small pilot clinical studies, rather than for widespread manufacture. The Canadian government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are offering $88 million (US $72 million) for the project. Federal officials declined to name the other three contenders.
11.13.2008; Becky Rynor; Jordana Huber, Canwest News