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 reasonable price.
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 Oxford-Nairobi partnership.