Gates Foundation’s Collaboration Requirements for HIV Vaccine Grants Could Accelerate Development, Editorial Says
Although it likely will "take years before a vaccine with any efficacy against [HIV/]AIDS is developed, ... the strings" the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has attached to its recent HIV vaccine development grants "could make the wait much shorter," a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial says (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/28). The Gates Foundation earlier this month announced grants totaling $287 million to 16 scientific teams made up of 165 researchers in 19 countries. Under the grant agreements, the researchers will be required to collaborate and share the results of their research, and they may patent their findings as long as they make their vaccines available at low costs to people in developing countries (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/20). "Scientific competition is not an evil," and the "thirst to be first has helped to propel medical advances out of universities, government and the private sector," according to the editorial. The "urgency of the goal" to develop a HIV vaccine "demands that different approaches be tried," the editorial says, adding that the "sensible" collaboration required by the Gates Foundation could let researchers know "more quickly that one line of research is futile and another more promising" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.