Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
USA Today Examines Efforts To Develop AIDS Vaccine
USA Today on Tuesday examined efforts to develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine, which researchers at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday said is "all but starting over" after two decades of work (Sternberg, USA Today, 7/13). According to a report by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative released Monday, the effort needs almost a doubling of funds, and researchers might have to start over if the current approach fails. More than 30 vaccines are in clinical trials, compared with a handful two years ago, according to the IAVI report. However, of the 30 vaccine candidates being researched in 19 countries, only one has reached the final testing phase, according to the IAVI report. IAVI has called for $1.3 billion in funding for vaccine development. IAVI President and CEO Seth Berkley said that annual spending on vaccine research is about $650 million -- less than 1% of the total spending on all HIV/AIDS product development (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/12). According to USA Today, AIDSVAX, the only AIDS vaccine to complete two large-scale clinical trails, "proved a flop." In addition, most of the 30 vaccine candidates are "relatively untested" and "so similar that if one fails, they all might fail," USA Today reports. Further, conducting human clinical trials of vaccine candidates could prove "challenging" because the countries with the largest numbers of HIV-positive people lack the resources to study thousands of patients, according to USA Today reports (USA Today, 7/13).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.