June 27, 2000
Wayne Koff, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Development of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), issued the following statement in response to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease's announcement of four new public-private partnerships to develop promising AIDS vaccines:
"The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative has long believed that a focused, aggressive product development effort would maximize the possibility of developing an AIDS vaccine in the shortest possible time.
"We therefore applaud the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for creating its new HIV Vaccine Design and Development Teams. This approach was advocated in IAVI's1998 Scientific Blueprint for AIDS Vaccine Development.
"We are especially encouraged that the awards will be incentive-based and include timelines and milestones. This should speed the introduction of promising vaccine concepts into human testing.
"IAVI's own Vaccine Development Partnerships were launched in 1998 and are significantly compressing the timelines in which promising concepts enter clinical trials. IAVI has launched four such partnerships and intends to create two more by the end of this year.
"However, given the magnitude of the global pandemic, much more needs to be done to ensure the development and distribution of preventive AIDS vaccines. IAVI will be releasing an updated Scientific Blueprint at the World AIDS Conference in Durban, as well as a five-point action plan to assure global access to an AIDS vaccine once it is developed."