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European Governments Invest an Additional €26 Million in AIDS Vaccine Development

December 01, 2006

(NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam, December 1, 2006) – Europe is taking a prominent role in supporting research into new technologies to fight AIDS, with several European governments having renewed or increased their contribution for AIDS vaccine research and development (R&D) this year.

This week, the Danish government confirmed a grant of 30 million Danish Kroner (approximately €4 million) for IAVI for the period 2006-2008. "We are pleased to be able to continue our support for IAVI's AIDS vaccine R&D efforts through a multi-year funding commitment," said Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Ms. Ulla Tørnæs. "Our contribution highlights the important role that governments can play in supporting global AIDS research, particularly research that is done in partnership with scientists, policy makers and communities in developing countries."

The Dutch Government recently announced a contribution of €80 million to support the development of new medicines for developing countries, which includes a three-year €16.2 million contribution to IAVI for the development of an AIDS vaccine. The Netherlands is now one of the most important European contributors to AIDS vaccine R&D.

The development of AIDS vaccines is an essential component in the comprehensive response to the global AIDS pandemic. Access to available methods to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS and access to care are critical. But with the same urgency, investments are also required in new AIDS prevention technologies.

"It is important that people, in particular women, receive better options to protect themselves against HIV infection," said Paul Bekkers, the Dutch AIDS Ambassador. "Organizations such as IAVI, who collaborate with the private sector and research institutes to develop new prevention technologies for developing countries, provide a significant contribution in the fight against AIDS."

Earlier this year, the Swedish government increased its support for HIV/AIDS research, including a contribution of 15 million Swedish Kronor (approximately €1.7 million) to IAVI for 2006. The Irish government made an additional €4 million available to IAVI within the framework of Irish Aid’s commitment to HIV/AIDS and new preventive technologies, providing a total contribution of €13 million for the period 2005-2007.

The support from these European governments allows IAVI to move forward with addressing some of the most critical scientific questions in AIDS vaccine development, to continue clinical testing of promising AIDS vaccine candidates, to build infrastructure for research and development in India and African countries and to prepare communities for AIDS vaccine trials.

"The support from Europe is pivotal to the work of IAVI," said Dr. Seth Berkley, IAVI’s CEO and President. "Right from the start, Europe has taken a leadership role."

"We receive support from The Basque Autonomous Government, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, The United Kingdom and the EU," said Frans van den Boom, Executive Director IAVI Europe. "In Europe we aim to secure support for the development of an AIDS vaccine from all OECD countries."

About IAVI
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 23 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The John D. Evans Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Starr Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government as well as the European Union; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Continental Airlines, Google Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. and Pfizer Inc; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Crusaid, Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung, and Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as The Haas Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world.