HIV Vaccine: December 2006 Archives

Uganda launches HIV vaccine trials for babies

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clinical trialsUganda has screened and vaccinated at least a quarter of the 50 babies needed for vaccine trial focused on prevention of HIV transmission from mother to child during breastfeeding.

The first baby in the vaccine trials was enrolled in October and by last week 14 of them had received either the vaccine or placebo saline solution (for control) while 16 have been screened to participate. 

The study is in its phase I, randomised double blind — where the researchers will not know which babies receive the vaccine or the placebo solution, while 40 babies will randomly receive the vaccine and 10 the placebo.

China to test new AIDS vaccine on humans

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vaccineBEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- China is seeking volunteers to participate in its second clinic trial of a new AIDS vaccine early next year, a leading Chinese scientist said recently.

The center is looking for men and women to participate in the trials which will take place in Beijing, said Shao Yiming, chief expert for the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention.

He revealed the plan at a conference on Sino-U.S. AIDS vaccine research and development held on Sunday without indicating how many participants will be involved in the trial.

cytogenixHOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CytoGenix (OTCBB:CYGX) has demonstrated that a synDNA™ vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has activity in monkeys. The study, conducted by Drs. Yin Chen and Frédéric Kendirgi at CytoGenix in collaboration with Lauren Hirao and Dr. David Weiner of the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated that rhesus monkeys injected with a synDNA™ HIV vaccine mounted a significant cellular immune response. The study involved monkeys treated with a synDNA™ vaccine targeting two key viral proteins (gag and env) with interleukin-15 as an adjuvant.

"This observation, the first evidence of activity for a synDNA™ vaccine in non-human primates, is encouraging in that it shows that the synDNA™ vaccine is as effective as the DNA plasmid-based vaccine expressing the same antigen. The advantages of using DNA vaccines can be significantly extended using synDNA™ constructs and warrants further study to determine if the response is sufficient to protect against HIV infection,” stated David B. Weiner, Ph.D., an expert in DNA vaccination and a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Large-scale HIV vaccine trials to start in SA

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HIV in Africa South Africa's first large-scale HIV vaccine efficacy trial will start next year at five clinical sites around the country.

Representatives from the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the SA Aids Vaccine Initiative remained tight-lipped on details of the number of subjects and the locations of the trial sites, saying an announcement would be made in January.

But principal investigator at the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre at UCT, Linda-Gail Bekker, said the trials would test the efficacy of a subtype B HIV vaccine on South Africa's predominantly subtype C sufferers.

Each HIV-infected region of the world tends to have a predominant genetic subtype of the virus.
viraxA small Australian biotech company has secured the help of the world's leading miners to fund clinical trials of its Aids vaccine in South Africa.

In the first programme of its kind, Virax, which is listed on the Australian stock exchange and plans to float on Aim next year, has set up a non-profit organisation for corporate donors with operations and interests in South Africa and other neighbouring countries, and whose workforces are affected by the disease.

Eight companies including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton will fund the trials, expected to cost between $5m and $6m.

There are more than six million people with HIV/Aids in the country. The incidence of the disease varies - in KwaZulu-Natal, for example, up to 35% of the population is HIV positive, and 41% of those in the penal system have the virus.

Perth professor in HIV vaccine bid

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Simon MalalA Perth researcher playing a key role in the fight against HIV-AIDS says there could be a breakthrough in vaccines within 10 years.

Professor Simon Mallal leads a team of 42 scientists at a collaborative research centre in Perth who have already notched up a breakthrough in HIV-AIDS research.

In 2002, the team discovered that a person's genetics will determine how they will react to HIV and how they should be treated.

Why scientists are still years from a vaccine

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research The unique nature of HIV has hampered the search for an Aids vaccine and it remains a distant prospect, the world's leading experts say.

When American politicians announced the discovery of HIV in 1984, they predicted that a vaccine and a cure for Aids would be available within five years. It turned out to be a hopelessly optimistic assessment as the immense technical and scientific difficulties unfolded.

Nevertheless, the discovery of the virus led to important developments. The first was a blood test to determine whether someone was HIV positive. A global research effort into the genetics and biology of HIV led to a deeper understanding of the virus's modus operandi. This pointed to ways of sabotaging viral replication in infected patients.