HIV/AIDS Vaccine Experts Call for More Collaboration in Research, Say Effective Vaccine at Least Decade Away
September 3, 2004
Scientists at an HIV/AIDS vaccine conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week called for more collaboration in developing an HIV/AIDS vaccine and said that such a vaccine is at least a decade away, the Financial Times reports (Williams, Financial Times, 9/3). About 800 scientists attended the three-day AIDS VACCINE '04 conference that examined preliminary data from the more than 30 HIV/AIDS vaccine candidates currently undergoing clinical trials in 19 countries, according to the AP/Long Island Newsday (Cage, AP/Long Island Newsday, 9/2). Of the HIV/AIDS vaccine candidates, five are sponsored by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, according to an IAVI release (IAVI release, 9/2). Although scientists have learned a "great deal" about the structure of HIV and how the virus attacks the immune system, the "questions that have been answered are outnumbered by those that have not," Emilio Emini, IAVI senior president and chief of vaccine development, said, according to Xinhua News Agency. Wayne Koff, IAVI senior vice president and chief of vaccine research, said, "Given what we know about HIV today, we are advancing promising candidates into development and clinical trials," adding, "At the same time, basic research questions still have to be solved" (Xinhua News Agency, 9/2). IAVI President and CEO Seth Berkley said that vaccine development could be accelerated by "new collaborative initiatives" between the private and public sectors, according to the Times. He added that funds for vaccine development need to be doubled to $1.1 billion annually, the Times reports. "Every year we wait, millions will be infected and condemned to death," Berkley said, adding, "Only a vaccine can end the epidemic." Giuseppe Pantaleo, chair of the conference, said that an effective vaccine is not likely before 2014. He urged a greater European commitment to HIV/AIDS vaccine development, most of which is now "overwhelmingly concentrated" in the United States, according to the Times (Financial Times, 9/3).
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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.