November 28, 2005
GlaxoSmithKline and France's Institut Pasteur announced on Monday they are collaborating to develop an experimental HIV vaccine by fusing the virus' genes onto an existing measles vaccine, Reuters reports. Institut Pasteur will license the measles vaccine vector technology to GSK, and researchers from both organizations will develop the experimental HIV vaccine. GSK is optimistic that the approach will be successful, especially because the measles vaccine provides long-lasting immunity. The organizations aim to produce an HIV vaccine that is just as effective (Hirschler, Reuters, 11/28). The European Union is supporting the project with about $6.4 million. Scientists will conduct the research at four centers in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. They will work to develop a production process for the vaccine and conduct clinical studies, the first of which will assess the safety of the vaccine candidate and the second will examine the vaccine's immunogenicity in volunteers who are already immune to measles. The clinical trials will begin in the third year of the collaboration, which will last four to five years (Dow Jones, 11/28).
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