BALTIMOREThe International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
announced at a press conference that it will fund development of an
innovative, oral AIDS vaccine by the University of Maryland Institute
of Human Virology (IHV), a center of the University of Maryland
Biotechnology Institute founded by Robert Gallo, MD, co-discover of HIV.
The IAVI also announced that it has formed a partnership with the
Ministry of Health in Uganda to work with Ugandan institutions to
further the development and testing of the new vaccine and other
IAVI-sponsored vaccine candidates.
The new vaccine will employ a bacterial robot, a
technology that harnesses weakened Salmonella bacteria to
deliver genetic material encoding the vaccine DNA to human cells in a
process called bactofection. The cells then translate the
genes into the actual vaccine.
Unlike delivery systems made from viruses, bacteria can hold large
amounts of useful DNA, are highly stable, and are simple and
inexpensive to manufacture, the IAVI said. Such systems also offer
the potential to deliver vaccines orally or intranasally.
The agreement also includes legal guarantees to help ensure that a
successful vaccine will be distributed in developing countries for a
Dr. Wayne Koff, IAVIs vice president for research and
development, said that the new Salmonella vaccine will
incorporate the IAVI-funded DNA vaccine that is being developed by
IAVIs Oxford-Nairobi Vaccine Development. This will enable the Salmonella
DNA vaccine to enter clinical trials faster and to be compared
directly with an injectable vaccine developed through the