Indian Government Approves Second HIV Vaccine for Phase I Clinical Trial
The Indian government has approved a second HIV vaccine for Phase I clinical testing, S.Y. Quraishi, director of the National AIDS Control Organization, said on Thursday, Reuters reports. The trial -- which will involve a candidate vaccine called Modified Vaccinia Ankara that targets HIV subtype C -- will enroll at least 30 HIV-negative volunteers at the Tuberculosis Research Centre in Madras, India, and is scheduled to begin vaccinating participants in September (Mukherjee, Reuters, 7/14). MVA was developed by Cambridge, Mass.-based drug company Therion Biologics (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/14/03). Indian Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss in February announced the approval of a Phase I trial of the HIV vaccine tgAAC09, which was developed by Seattle-based Targeted Genetics and the Columbus Children's Research Institute in Ohio and also targets HIV subtype C, the most common strain of the virus in India. That trial is being conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, which provided $3 million to the Indian government to fund HIV vaccine development efforts over 18 months beginning in March 2001 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/8). More than 5.1 million HIV-positive people live in India, and experts say the number could quadruple by 2010 (Reuters, 7/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.