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PhRMA report: industry steps up AIDS vaccine and drug research

December 05, 2003

December 5, 2003—The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the trade association of the US pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, hails 2003 as a year of “silent revolution” in research to develop a preventive AIDS vaccine. Research groups represented by PhRMA are testing a total of 15 AIDS vaccine candidates, according to a new report by PhRMA. A preventive AIDS vaccine would protect people who are not infected with HIV/AIDS from contracting the disease and is the best hope to stop new infections and end the epidemic.

In addition, PhRMA counts 68 therapeutic drugs in development, for people who are already infected with HIV. PhRMA President Alan F. Holmer said, “These vaccines and drugs in the pipeline demonstrate the pharmaceutical research industry’s commitment to combat this terrible scourge that afflicts patients all over the world. We’ll continue full speed ahead until we’ve conquered the disease.”

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) President and CEO Dr. Seth Berkley, MD, said, “It is essential for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to be involved in the search for a vaccine. We are heartened by the increased dedication of industry to this search. Our combined efforts can and will make a difference.”

IAVI itself, which collaborates with several biotechnology companies, has helped sponsor five different vaccine candidates now in trials in seven countries.