Fauci lays out HIV research plan

A week after suspending a major HIV vaccine trial set to commence soon, linkurl:Anthony Fauci,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13734/ head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has laid out a plan for reshuffling priorities in HIV/AIDS vaccine development in an article appearing in Science tomorrow (July 25), coauthored by a slew of HIV vaccine researchers. "The general trend will be funding a bit more fundamental discovery research," Fauci said,

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

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Jul 23, 2008
A week after suspending a major HIV vaccine trial set to commence soon, linkurl:Anthony Fauci,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13734/ head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has laid out a plan for reshuffling priorities in HIV/AIDS vaccine development in an article appearing in Science tomorrow (July 25), coauthored by a slew of HIV vaccine researchers. "The general trend will be funding a bit more fundamental discovery research," Fauci said, echoing a linkurl:pledge;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54488/ he made at an NIAID conference back in March. NIAID is still solidifying some future initiatives, Fauci said, such as plans to attract more young investigators to HIV vaccine research by offering more grants for such studies, and to encourage more collaboration between non-human primate researchers and scientists at human clinical centers. The NIAID is also planning a November conference on non-human primate research on HIV vaccines, Fauci said, and in May funded a linkurl:$15.6 million project;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54655/ to...
d of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has laid out a plan for reshuffling priorities in HIV/AIDS vaccine development in an article appearing in Science tomorrow (July 25), coauthored by a slew of HIV vaccine researchers. "The general trend will be funding a bit more fundamental discovery research," Fauci said, echoing a linkurl:pledge;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54488/ he made at an NIAID conference back in March. NIAID is still solidifying some future initiatives, Fauci said, such as plans to attract more young investigators to HIV vaccine research by offering more grants for such studies, and to encourage more collaboration between non-human primate researchers and scientists at human clinical centers. The NIAID is also planning a November conference on non-human primate research on HIV vaccines, Fauci said, and in May funded a linkurl:$15.6 million project;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54655/ to study antibody responses from B cells instead of targeting T cells - the approach taken by previous vaccine efforts. More recently, NIAID announced another linkurl:program;http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/budget/concepts/c-aid0108.htm#01 to fund research into how HIV transmission can be interrupted. The move to basic research "doesn't mean we're going to stop all clinical trials," Fauci explained. Instead, he said, the scientific bar for taking an HIV vaccine candidate into the realm of clinical trials has been raised. "There will be some reduction in spending on clinical trials and clinical networks," said Dennis Burton, a coauthor on the article and an NIH funded HIV vaccine researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, "in part because there are no really good candidates to put into those networks." Fauci said that he decided to linkurl:discontinue;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54838/ the AIDS vaccine trial, known as PAVE 100, despite its linkurl:support;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54724/ by the NIH's AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee last month, after mulling over the data from the linkurl:failed trial;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53633/ of a Merck vaccine, and speaking with researchers and other interested parties. "I couldn't see justifying the PAVE 100 trial as it was defined," Fauci said. "You've got to show me it works first." To that end, Fauci said that he would entertain a "leaner, meaner" trial that tested the science behind the PAVE vaccine, and that researchers were already designing such a trial. "Hopefully in a few weeks to a month, we'll have something to look at," he said.

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