India Healthcare
India, US body to jointly develop AIDS vaccine
May 2, 2007 - 10:31:01 PM

New Delhi, May 2 - India Wednesday signed an agreement with the US-based International AIDS Vaccine Initiative - to develop an AIDS vaccine.

According to the ministry of science and technology, its Department of Biotechnology - has tied up with IAVI to develop the vaccine.

The new Indian Medicinal Chemistry Programme, co-sponsored and co-funded by IAVI and DBT, will comprise top Indian and US scientists who will accelerate the pace of the AIDS vaccine discovery and develop creative concepts for the next generation of AIDS vaccines.

Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal noted that vaccine research was very critical and that his ministry had joined hands with the health ministry to accelerate efforts in the field.

Seth Berkley, CEO and president of IAVI, said the partnership would broaden ongoing efforts in India to find an AIDS vaccine.

The Indian programme will complement the work of IAVI's Neutralizing Antibody Consortium -, a team of internationally recognised scientists, working on the challenge of neutralizing antibodies.

The first component of the DBT-IAVI programme will consist of a collaboration of principal investigators from different academic research laboratories to design novel HIV antigens.

The investigators include V.S. Chauhan, professor at the Delhi-based International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Raghavan Varadarajan of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Stephen Kaminsky of IAVI's AIDS Vaccine Development Laboratory, New York, and Philip Dawson of The Scripps Research Institute, California.

At a later stage, based on their initial research and vaccine design concepts, both partners expect to work with an Indian manufacturer to assist in antigen chemical characterization and potency evaluation of the proposed AIDS vaccine.

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