Durham, N.C.-Based Bioscience Firm To Test First Personalized HIV/AIDS Vaccine
Durham, N.C.-based Argos Therapeutics -- which on Tuesday changed its name from Merix Bioscience -- in conjunction with the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam is set to test the safety of an experimental HIV/AIDS vaccine, which the company hopes will become the first personalized vaccine, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. The company hopes to produce a vaccine -- using HIV extracted from a patient's own blood -- that is genetically programmed to "seek out and destroy" specific viral strains and mutations in that patient's body, according to the News & Observer. The company believes that this personalized approach will prevent HIV from mutating and becoming resistant to the drug or vaccine, the News & Observer reports. "What we're trying to do is develop an approach where it's very difficult for the AIDS virus to escape," Argos Chief Executive Clint Dederick said. "This is really something that is qualitatively different," Charles Nicolette, Argos' vice president of research and development, added. The trial, which will cost about $1 million to conduct and involve about one dozen Dutch patients, is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2005 (Fisher, Raleigh News & Observer, 10/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.