VaxGen Receives $2 Million NIAID Grant To Analyze AIDS Vaccine Clinical Trial Data
Biotechnology company VaxGen on Tuesday announced that it had received a grant of up to $2 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to analyze data collected from its AIDS vaccine trials, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Tansey, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11). VaxGen in late February announced that its vaccine, AIDSVAX, reduced the rate of new HIV infections by 3.8% among people who received the vaccine, compared with clinical trial participants who received a placebo injection, but said that the vaccine was effective among African Americans, Asians and other non-white, non-Hispanic volunteers. In a subgroup of 498 non-white, non-Hispanic volunteers, the vaccine appeared to provide protection in the range of 30% to 84%. According to the company, the analysis had less than a 1% chance of being random chance, making it statistically significant (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/1). Under the new two-year grant, VaxGen will examine the viral strains of the minority subjects to determine whether an improved vaccine would be effective against those strains. "My sense is that the data they have accumulated could be quite valuable in AIDS vaccine research," Chris Collins, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, said, adding, "I do think it is appropriate that the government is helping the company to mine that data for the maximum impact" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.