Asian AIDS vaccine programme launched19th October 2010
Institutes in East Asia have begun an international research programme that aims to develop a new AIDS vaccine as soon as possible.
Researchers in universities from Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam will pool their scientific resources to help the region's 5 million HIV positive people, as well as the 500 million who are considered at risk.
Training for network members will take place mainly in Australia, Japan and Thailand.
Together, all of the countries involved will form the AIDS Vaccine Asia Network (AVAN).
David Cooper, director of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia and a member of AVAN, said that an Asia-specific vaccine development plan had a number of benefits.
He said that the effort would focus on the wide range of subtypes and recombinants that were region-specific.
In addition to expanding the pipeline of available vaccines to East Asia, AVAN also wants to develop a clear strategy for the region that will include clinical trials of new vaccines, a process that will largely take place in Thailand.
Cooper said that the initiative would involve the transfer of skills between developed and developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, allowing AVAN to pool expertise across countries that may have one field of excellence but not another.
He said that the collaboration process would also match up laboratory capacity in one country with a research group in a neighbouring country with complementary requirements.
Lisa Beyer, senior vice-president of public affairs at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative said that the effort to develop an AIDS vaccine was a global effort, and that she believed AVAN's researchers would benefit from and contribute to worldwide efforts.
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Title: Asian AIDS vaccine programme launched
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 16446
Date Added: 19th Oct 2010