Last month's cancellation of the largest ongoing HIV vaccine trial stopped yet another promising candidate. The growing pool of clinical failures shows that a new approach is needed. This past week, academia offered up two new angles of attack.
Innovators of vaccine-delivery technology generally want to find ways around the use of painful needles and the expensive cold chain. Researchers at King's College London are working toward those goals by using microneedles made of sugar to deliver vaccine through the skin--a cheaper alternative to traditional shots.
Good news out of Canada in the search for an HIV vaccine: Scientists announced a vaccine candidate showed no adverse effects and significantly boosted immunity in human trials.
Researchers at Emory University landed a $6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help develop an effective vaccine for HIV/AIDS.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases divvied up $7.8 million among 14 entities to fund HIV vaccine research. NIAID, part of National Institutes of Health, provided the grants under the Innovation for HIV Vaccine Discovery initiative, which is expected to receive up to $34.8 million over the next four years.
By transplanting elements of the human immune system into an immunodeficient mouse, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard inched closer to reducing the time and cost required to test HIV candidate vaccines.
Norway's Bionor Pharma landed $1.7 million from the Research Council of Norway's Globvac program to learn more about what role a vaccine can play in eliminating HIV.
"The development of HIV vaccines has been slow, because the research community had to determine what genetic material would trigger both an antibody and a T cell response. Many times you need to find out what doesn't work first, but the research is now speeding up," says Robert McNally, Ph.D., president and CEO of GeoVax, in an interview with FierceVaccines.
Bionor's latest HIV vaccine, Vacc-C5, is ready to go into therapeutic clinical trials at Oslo University Hospital.
I want to wish you a belated happy HIV Vaccine Awareness Day for 18 May from FierceVaccines and share with you part of a statement from Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.