June 2, 2000
The new vaccine will be taken orally, and could possibly cost less than $1 per dose to produce.
Several aspects of this technology are particularly important:
The salmonella bacterium "knows its way around the gut," and delivers the selected DNA directly to dendritic cells in the intestinal mucosa, which may be particularly effective for providing "mucosal immunity" to prevent HIV infection. This is important for blocking sexual transmission of the virus.
This vaccine is well along in its development, but clinical trials are still more than a year away. The first trials will take place in Baltimore and in Uganda, where the Ministry of Health is an active participant in this program. One trial will compare this vaccine head to head against an injected formulation which uses the same active ingredients but a very different delivery system -- a vaccine also being funded by IAVI.
"The driving force for this decade-long effort [to create the new vaccine] has been the development of a simple delivery system for an HIV vaccine that can be administered without needles and that can be afforded by developing nations. Salmonella-DNA has these attributes built in from the start. We are extremely excited now to be able to evaluate this strategy in human volunteers," said Dr. George Lewis, Director of the IHV Division of Vaccine Research.
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.
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