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IAVI Applauds India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Trilateral Cooperation on AIDS Vaccine Research & Development

September 22, 2006

First IBSA Summit with Heads of State and Government Held in Brasilia, Brazil,
September 13-15

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) applauds leaders from India, Brazil and South Africa for agreeing to enhance trilateral cooperation to battle global neglected diseases; and for supporting collaborative actions to bolster research and development for new diagnostics tools, drugs and vaccines, including vaccines to prevent HIV and AIDS.

The Prime Minister of India, H.E. Manmohan Singh, the President of Brazil, H.E. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the President of South Africa, H.E. Thabo Mbeki, made these commitments at the first India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Heads of Government summit held in Brasilia, Brazil from September 13-15. Specifically, they reconfirmed their desire to work together under the novel IBSA framework to combat AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis by increasing investments in vaccine research and development and by improving access to new preventive medical technologies through mechanisms, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

IAVI has provided technical support to the IBSA Dialogue Forum as a vehicle for spurring cooperation in AIDS vaccine development among countries with growing biomedical research and manufacturing capabilities. Last summer, ministers of science and technology from the three countries signed the Rio Declaration, highlighting AIDS vaccines as a priority and urging the G8 nations to expand their support for vaccine R&D.

India, Brazil and South Africa are significant participants in AIDS vaccine development and testing. Over the past two years, India has launched two AIDS vaccine trials in partnership with the National AIDS Control Organization, the Indian Council of Medical Research and IAVI. South Africa has its own vaccine organization, the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI), and is currently testing the safety and immunogenicity of a preventive vaccine based on the most prevalent HIV subtype circulating in southern Africa.  Brazil has long been a strong advocate for expanded vaccine efforts and is participating in a major trial to test one of the most promising AIDS vaccine candidates developed by a multinational pharmaceutical company.

IAVI partners with India's Ministry of Health and Welfare to implement the country's AIDS vaccine program, and is currently sponsoring the South Africa vaccine trial in Cape Town, Soweto and Pretoria. The organization also has a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Ministry of Health and supports civil society efforts to promote AIDS vaccines.

IAVI is committed to continuing its work with IBSA in its promising collaborative efforts to encourage scientific and informational exchanges and to strengthen health infrastructure and channels for delivering future AIDS vaccines.