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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 2, 2007
Centre, IAVI join hands to develop next generation AIDS vaccine
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Centre, IAVI join hands to develop next generation AIDS vaccine

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of Science and Technology Ministry and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) signed an agreement today to address a major obstacle in AIDS vaccine development: the design of candidate vaccines to elicit neutralizing antibodies against HIV.

New Delhi, May 2 : The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of Science and Technology Ministry and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) signed an agreement today to address a major obstacle in AIDS vaccine development: the design of candidate vaccines to elicit neutralizing antibodies against HIV.

A new Indian Medicinal Chemistry Programme, co-sponsored and co-funded by IAVI and DBT will comprise top Indian and U.S. scientists tasked with accelerating the pace of AIDS vaccine discovery and developing creative concepts for the "next generation" of AIDS vaccines.

Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Kapil Sibal said that vaccine research is so critical that the Health Ministry and the Science and Technology Ministry have joined hands to provide the effort the support it needs.

According to Seth Berkley, CEO and President of IAVI, this new partnership will broaden ongoing efforts in India to find an AIDS vaccine.

The Indian Programme will complement the work of IAVI's Neutralizing Antibody Consortium (NAC), a team of internationally recognized scientists working on the neutralizing antibody challenge.

Researchers believe an ideal AIDS vaccine must evoke an antibody response that can block HIV from entering healthy cells, as well as reduce the amount of viral dissemination through a cell-mediated immune response to HIV-infected cells. Yet today, virtually all current vaccine candidates in the pipeline are based on cell-mediated immune responses alone, failing to target the second critical arm of the human immune system.

The first component of the DBT-IAVI Programme will consist of a collaboration of principal investigators from different academic research laboratories to design novel HIV antigens.

At a later stage, based on their initial research and vaccine design concepts, both partners expect to work with an Indian manufacturer to assist with high throughput synthesis, antigen chemical characterization and potency evaluation of proposed AIDS vaccine candidates.

ANI

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