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Gates<>Accelerate HIV Vaccine Development

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  1. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 07:58
    Foundation Funds Major New Collaboration to Accelerate HIV Vaccine Development

    Global network of 16 research teams to tackle critical vaccine design challenges

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Phone: 206.709.3400

    SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced 16 grants totaling $287 million to create an international network of highly collaborative research consortia focused on accelerating the pace of HIV vaccine development.

    The grants will support a range of innovative approaches for designing an effective HIV vaccine, and bring together more than 165 investigators from 19 countries to tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges facing the field.

    Eleven consortia will focus on vaccine discovery, applying new scientific knowledge and cutting-edge research techniques to create and evaluate novel vaccine candidates.

    These consortia will be linked to five central laboratories and data analysis facilities, enabling investigators to openly share data and compare results, and allowing the most promising vaccine approaches to be quickly prioritized for further development.

    “An HIV vaccine is our best long-term hope for controlling the global AIDS epidemic, but it has proven to be a tremendously difficult scientific challenge,” said Dr. José Esparza, senior advisor on HIV vaccines for the Gates Foundation. “We have all been frustrated by the slow pace of progress in HIV vaccine development, yet breakthroughs are achievable if we aggressively pursue scientific leads and work together in new ways.”

    To date, most HIV vaccine research has been conducted by small teams of investigators working independently. While important research gains have been made, there is growing recognition that these efforts need to be supported by new large-scale, collaborative projects that can produce definitive answers to complex scientific questions.

    Grants Establish Vaccine Discovery Consortia, Central Facilities
    The grants announced today, known collectively as the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery, will support the following:

    Vaccine discovery consortia: Eleven vaccine discovery consortia will pursue a broad range of innovative strategies for designing vaccine candidates to trigger immune responses believed to be critical for protection against HIV.

    The consortia will focus on overcoming two of the biggest scientific obstacles currently facing the field: designing vaccine candidates capable of eliciting effective neutralizing antibodies to HIV, and improving current vaccine candidates so they elicit stronger and more durable protective cellular immune responses.

    Central facilities: Five central facilities will be established, including three laboratory networks for measuring the immune responses elicited by vaccine candidates, a research specimen repository, and a data and statistical management center.

    As a condition for receiving funding, the newly-funded vaccine discovery consortia have agreed to use the central facilities to test vaccine candidates, share information with other investigators, and compare results using standardized benchmarks.
    “These projects bring a new level of creativity and intensity to bear on major scientific challenges facing HIV vaccine development,” said Dr. Nicholas Hellmann, acting director of the Gates Foundation’s HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health program. “Some of the vaccine concepts that will be pursued have been talked about for years, but have never been adequately studied. If successful, they could lead to entirely new paradigms for HIV vaccine development.”

    “These grants signal an exciting move toward greater cooperation, coordination, and transparency among vaccine scientists,” said Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC). “AIDS vaccine advocates have long said that this type of work is critical to accelerating work in the field, and this is an energizing time.”

    In addition, the grantees are developing global access plans to help ensure that their discoveries will be accessible and affordable for developing countries, where the vast majority of new HIV infections occur.

    Range of Novel HIV Vaccine Approaches Supported
    The grants announced today support a range of novel approaches for developing an effective HIV vaccine. (See accompanying backgrounder for grant details.) Examples of the grants include:

    Advancing progress on neutralizing antibodies: Virtually all licensed vaccines for other diseases are believed to work by causing the immune system to produce neutralizing antibodies that bind to vulnerable regions on the infection-causing agent. One research consortium will isolate a large number of antibodies from humans and animals, screen them for the ability to neutralize HIV, and “work backwards” from the best antibodies to design new vaccine candidates. (Lead investigator: Robin Weiss, University College London)

    Using computational biology to create novel vaccine designs: One research consortium will use state-of-the-art computer design techniques to create synthetic molecules to trigger antibodies against HIV. To help provide the massive computing power necessary for this project, the consortium will partner with the Rosetta@home project, which allows individuals around the world to donate their personal computer’s idle time to run research calculations over the Internet. (Lead investigator: Leo Stamatatos, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute)

    Addressing challenges in eliciting cellular immunity: An effective HIV vaccine may also need to elicit cellular, or T-cell, immunity. One potential approach for eliciting cellular immunity is to modify other viruses so they carry pieces of HIV capable of inducing an immune response (but not capable of causing disease). One research consortium will focus on a number of novel vectors, or “carrier” viruses, that have been identified as promising for an HIV vaccine but have never been tested in clinical trials. (Lead investigator: Timothy Zamb, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative)

    Improving vectors that elicit cellular immunity: The use of poxviruses as vaccine vectors is supported by extensive pre-clinical and clinical experience, and one of the projects will try to significantly improve the ability of poxvirus vectors to stimulate cellular immune responses. The consortium will focus on making improvements to three poxvirus vectors that have been used in HIV vaccines, including a modified version of the vaccinia virus that was successfully used to eradicate smallpox. (Lead investigator: Giuseppe Pantaleo, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois)

    Harnessing dendritic cells: The immune system’s dendritic cells are believed to play an important role in enhancing both cellular immunity and neutralizing antibodies. One research consortium will design vaccine candidates with molecules that bind to the surface of dendritic cells, and study the use of chemicals called glycolipids, which activate immune cells that stimulate dendritic cells. (Lead investigator: David Ho, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University)

  2. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 07:59

    Standardizing and improving laboratory tests: Laboratory tests used to assess vaccine candidates are often not comparable due to variations in techniques and materials, severely hampering decisions about which candidates to pursue for further testing. One grant will establish an international network of laboratories to standardize procedures for evaluating neutralizing antibody responses elicited by HIV vaccine candidates. (Lead investigator: David Montefiori, Duke University)
    In total, the 16 grants support more than 165 investigators in 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia.

    Grants Address Key Research Gaps Identified by Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise; Additional Funding Still Needed
    The Gates Foundation grants help address research priorities identified by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an alliance of researchers, funders, and advocates from academia, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and private industry in developing and developed countries dedicated to implementing a shared scientific plan to accelerate HIV vaccine development. The Enterprise’s scientific plan prioritizes vaccine discovery and laboratory standardization as two of the top issues facing the vaccine field.

    The foundation grants complement other contributions in support of the Enterprise scientific plan, including:

    Switzerland: The Government of Switzerland has pledged to support the establishment of a vaccine institute in Lausanne that will contribute to the implementation of the Enterprise scientific plan.

    Germany: The Fraunhofer Society and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Saarland in Germany have committed a total of $1.7 million to support the Enterprise scientific plan.

    U.S.: Last year the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) pledged more than $300 million to support the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), which is addressing other priorities in the Enterprise plan.
    Yet resources for HIV vaccine development still fall significantly short of need. According to an analysis co-sponsored by the AVAC, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, UNAIDS, and other groups, an estimated $682 million is spent annually on HIV vaccine development, while fully implementing the Enterprise scientific plan would require nearly double this amount – an estimated $1.2 billion annually.

    “The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise provides a forum for researchers and donors to work together on one of the most important challenges of our time,” said Dr. Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Enterprise Coordinating Committee. “By clearly identifying funding gaps, the Enterprise is helping donors ensure that resources are used most effectively.”

    Other priorities in the Enterprise scientific plan include developing improved vaccine manufacturing processes, establishing greater clinical trials capacity in developing countries, improving regulatory capacity for approving clinical trials and assessing trial results, and developing intellectual property arrangements that facilitate global access to new technologies.

    “As researchers make progress in designing promising new vaccine candidates, it is essential that sufficient capacity is in place to manufacture these vaccines, test them in clinical trials, and conduct timely reviews of the results,” said Dr. Barton Haynes, professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center who is principal investigator of NIAID’s CHAVI, and also the lead investigator on one of the Gates Foundation grants announced today. “The grants funded by the Gates Foundation will complement the efforts of CHAVI.”

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to reduce inequities and improve lives around the world. In developing countries, it focuses on improving health, reducing extreme poverty, and increasing access to technology in public libraries. In the United States, the foundation seeks to ensure that all people have access to a great education and to technology in public libraries. In its local region, it focuses on improving the lives of low-income families. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Patty Stonesifer and Co-chairs William H. Gates Sr., Bill Gates, and Melinda French Gates.
  3. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 08:09
    De Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation krijgen heel veel geld van W.Buffet erbij. Het ligt id verwachting dat bijdragen verhoogd zullen worden van bestaande projekten, dus mogelijk ook gevolgen voor CRXL(the Netherlands!) dat geld ontvangt van deze foundation voor o.a. HIV vaccin...

    mvg ivet
  4. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 08:14
    The most closely watched of these treatments, code-named MRKAd5HIV-1, was designed by Emini when he was at Merck. Currently in early clinical trials to evaluate its safety and effectiveness, it is being tested in several hundred volunteers in 14 U.S. cities, Canada, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Australia.
    The Merck compound takes a novel approach: It uses a genetically engineered form of the common cold -- called an adenovirus -- to deliver three HIV genes into the body, stimulating an immune response without causing HIV infection. Patients cannot contract AIDS from the vaccine.
    "It will be a few years before we have any data," said Janet Skidmore, a Merck spokeswoman who is married to Emini.
    Finding AIDS Vaccine May Be a Lost Cause

    c.2006 Newhouse News Service

    After 25 years and countless billions of research dollars, some of the nation's top scientists say a vaccine that provides immunity against the virus that causes AIDS -- the best hope of curbing the worst epidemic of our time -- may never happen.

    Despite breakthroughs in treatments for people already infected with the AIDS virus, researchers have hit one obstacle after another in efforts to develop a vaccine, long considered the holy grail of AIDS research.

    "It would be the greatest good we could do for mankind, and we should try like hell," said Ronald Desrosiers, a pioneering AIDS researcher affiliated with Harvard University who has spent two decades searching for a vaccine.

    But, Desrosiers said, "It's seriously questionable whether there will ever be an effective vaccine for HIV," the human immunodeficiency virus which causes AIDS.

    Emilio Emini, a top researcher for drugmaker Wyeth who previously headed vaccine development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, said "it is very difficult to conceive how one will make a vaccine" that provides sure protection.

    HIV is already the most studied virus ever. An army of scientists spread around the globe still struggles to understand its uncanny ability to thwart the human immune system, replicate and mutate at an astonishing rate.

    HIV/AIDS has infected 65 million people and killed nearly 25 million since June 1981, when federal health officials first reported five gay men were admitted to hospitals in Los Angeles with a mysterious and horrifying illness. It would be another year before the disease got a name: acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.

    After the virus was isolated by French and American researchers in 1983, the Reagan administration announced a vaccine was imminent.

    "We hope to have a vaccine ready for testing in about two years," said Margaret Heckler, the secretary of Health and Human Services, during a 1984 news conference. "Yet another terrible disease is about to yield to patience, persistence and outright genius."

    More than a decade later, President Clinton expressed renewed optimism. His administration approved the nation's first large-scale clinical trial of an AIDS vaccine. But it turned out to be a flop: After tests involving thousands of patients around the world, the vaccine was deemed ineffective in 2002.

    Today, AIDS researchers say a vaccine is still by far the best mechanism for slowing the spread of the disease. But the repeated failures have left them increasingly pessimistic.

    "I don't see how it could be controlled by any other means than a vaccine," said Raphael Dolin, Harvard Medical School's dean for academic and clinical programs and a researcher at the school's HIV Vaccine Trials Unit. "There's a lot of focus on treating aggressively people who need treatment, but the challenge is to eliminate the virus from a massive population."

    Vaccines teach the body to ward off disease by causing a faint infection. Once exposed to the vaccine, special white blood cells called regulatory T-cells direct the immune system's response.

    A vaccine for polio, for example, prompts the immune system to produce antibodies -- proteins that neutralize disease agents -- and white blood cells, which cleanse infected cells from the body. The immune system is then armed with a blueprint that allows it to quickly mobilize in the event of subsequent infection.

    The search for an AIDS vaccine has failed, researchers say, because the disease is very different than polio, smallpox, mumps, measles and other once-catastrophic illnesses that have been all but eradicated through vaccination.

    HIV targets the T-cells themselves, turning them into virus-producing factories that can churn out more than 1 million copies a day. The virus' outer shell, meanwhile, renders antibodies ineffective by cloaking the molecular sites where they can attach. To make matters worse, HIV is a retrovirus, which means it can hibernate for long periods before "waking up."

    "It's a very clever piece of engineering," said Wyeth's Emini. "Once you get the infection, it does not go away."

    To achieve complete protection against AIDS -- what doctors call "sterilizing immunity" -- a vaccine must stimulate the body to produce antibodies as well as specialized white blood cells called "killer" T-cells to destroy HIV particles before they infect other cells.

    So far, no one has figured out how to do this.

    "You're asking an HIV vaccine to do what a vaccine is not typically designed to do," said Emini, who previously headed vaccine research for drugmaker Merck. "The alternative is to develop a vaccine that teaches the immune system how to keep the virus under control."

    That's exactly what many scientists are trying now.

    With the outlook bleak for a traditional vaccine, researchers have shifted their focus to so-called partially effective vaccines that could greatly reduce, though not eliminate, the chance of infection. There currently are 50 such compounds in early clinical trials, according to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a coalition of universities and research labs based in New York.

    These drugs are designed to mimic HIV and prompt an immune response that gives the body a fighting chance against the fast-moving disease. They could, in theory, cap the number of virus particles in the blood at a level well below what's possible with current HIV drugs, delaying the onset of full-blown AIDS and perhaps lowering the chance of transmission to others.

    The most closely watched of these treatments, code-named MRKAd5HIV-1, was designed by Emini when he was at Merck. Currently in early clinical trials to evaluate its safety and effectiveness, it is being tested in several hundred volunteers in 14 U.S. cities, Canada, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Australia.

    The Merck compound takes a novel approach: It uses a genetically engineered form of the common cold -- called an adenovirus -- to deliver three HIV genes into the body, stimulating an immune response without causing HIV infection. Patients cannot contract AIDS from the vaccine.

    "It will be a few years before we have any data," said Janet Skidmore, a Merck spokeswoman who is married to Emini.

    Other researchers, meanwhile, are studying HIV-killing gels, creams and suppositories to slow the spread of the disease through sexual contact. Five separate clinical trials are under way involving 12,000 people in South Africa and thousands more in other countries. Products could be available as early as 2010.

  5. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 08:16

    Scientists also hope to find clues to a vaccine in so-called nonprogressors -- people with HIV who never progress to full-blown AIDS -- and in groups of sex workers in Kenya and South Africa who are HIV-free despite repeated exposure. If the mechanisms of their immunity can be identified, perhaps researchers could develop ways to immunize others.

    It's a matter of "working on things systematically until you get them to work," said Gail Ferstandig Arnold, an AIDS researcher at Rutgers University who remains upbeat about the prospects for a cure. "It's a combination of luck and working hard. We are learning more and more about HIV, and that gives us opportunities to learn how to make a vaccine."

    Even if a partially effective vaccine ultimately proves feasible, researchers say, it could take another five to 10 years before it gains regulatory approval for sale in the United States and other countries.

    "The hope is -- and it would be a tremendous achievement -- you could retard the growth of the virus," said Dolin, one of the principal investigators for the International AIDS Vaccine Project. But, he said, "It's not going to happen soon."


    "It's not a shortage of resources at this point," he said. "The rate-limiting factor is good ideas."

    The federal government last year spent 22 percent of its $3 billion AIDS research budget on vaccines and other preventative drugs, according to the Health and Human Services Department.

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, already the world's richest charity before billionaire Warren Buffett said last month he would donate the bulk of his fortune to the group, so far has contributed $126.5 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. The Gateses are poised to announce grants totaling $300 million over the next five years to AIDS vaccine work, according to the foundation.

    The pace of AIDS vaccine research also has been slow because HIV does not behave the same way in laboratory animals as it does in the human body.

    To combat other viral diseases, researchers conducted tests on animals such as mice and developed vaccines based on dead, weakened or altered strains, called attenuated virus. This is the basis of influenza, mumps and some polio vaccines.

    The lack of an animal model is significant because HIV is deadly. It would be unethical to experiment with attenuated virus on research volunteers for fear it could mutate once in the body, creating an uncertain risk of AIDS, said Desrosiers, who is director of the New England Regional Primate Research Center in Southborough, Mass.

    "Attenuated is off the table," he said. "It's too scary."
    The search for a cure has taken on fresh urgency as the next phase of the global AIDS pandemic rages across Asia. The World Health Organization warns of 20 million new infections in China alone by 2015.

    New infections in the United States have hovered around 40,000 annually since 1998, and HIV still disproportionately affects the poor and people of color. African-Americans represent 54 percent of new HIV cases across the country.
    For now, people living with HIV must rely on powerful drugs designed to slow the progress of the disease. These drugs, called antiretrovirals, can prolong life for years, possibly decades. No one knows for sure how long, since they only have been available for about a decade.

    Even where therapies are available, there is evidence HIV is becoming increasingly resistant to the drugs. A decade ago, only 5 percent of patients had drug-resistant HIV strains, according to the most recent New England Journal of Medicine estimates. Today, the figure is 20 percent of the 40 million people infected worldwide.
    "You look at the long term, it's really dismal," Cecil Pickett, president of the Schering-Plough Research Institute, said of the growing trend toward drug resistance. "We're getting to a limited number of treatment options unless we find something really novel about the virus."
    July 19, 2006

  6. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 08:21

    invoorentegenspoed schreef:

    De Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation krijgen heel veel geld van W.Buffet erbij. Het ligt id verwachting dat bijdragen verhoogd zullen worden van bestaande projekten, dus mogelijk ook gevolgen voor CRXL(the Netherlands!) dat geld ontvangt van deze foundation voor o.a. HIV vaccin...

    mvg ivet
    Idd ivet, zie ook:

    Melinda Gates Says Buffett's Donation Could Be Used for HIV Vaccine Research, Other Projects
    [Jun 27, 2006]
    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to use a portion of the donations totaling more than $30 billion from Berkshire Hathaway Chair Warren Buffett to fund HIV vaccine research and microbicides, Melinda Gates suggested on Tuesday during a news conference in New York City with Buffett and Bill Gates, the New York Times reports (McNeil/Lyman, New York Times, 6/27). Buffett on Sunday in a letter said he will annually donate to the Seattle-based Gates Foundation 5% of stock holdings currently valued at $30.7 billion. The initial donation, to be made in July, will total an estimated $1.54 billion. The conditions of the donation require that Bill or Melinda Gates continue active participation in their foundation. Buffett also will become a trustee of the Gates Foundation. The foundation has an endowment of $29 billion and to date has spent more than $10 billion, much of it on programs to fight HIV/AIDS and other global health concerns (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/26).

    En natuurlijk draadje :Warren Buffett gives away his fortune
  7. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 14:08
    Inmiddels al wel een wat ouder stukje maar wat is er hier besproken op de G8 tussen 15 en 17 juli.

    Geneva 4 July 2006 — Through its focus on global health at this year's summit in St Petersburg, Russia, the Group of Eight is helping to ensure that existing and emerging disease threats are tackled at the very highest level.

    In advance of the G8 summit, the leaders of the four key health policy and financing organizations - the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the GAVI Alliance - jointly welcome the focus on infectious diseases and urge the G8 leaders to continue their commitments to improving the health and lives of people in the world's poorest countries.

    The G8 leaders have long recognized that AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and vaccine-preventable diseases slow economic development, perpetuate poverty, and threaten security in large parts of the world. The recent threat of an influenza pandemic has focused international attention on the need for all countries to be better prepared, in order to reduce the potential death, illness, social and economic consequences of a pandemic.

    At last year’s G8 meeting in Gleneagles, leaders committed to reaching "as close as possible to universal access" to AIDS treatment by the year 2010. They also said they would work to significantly reduce HIV infections with the aim of an AIDS-free generation in Africa and scaling up the global AIDS response significantly.

    The year 2005 also produced real commitments to human development. The G8 pledged to write off most of the multilateral debts in 18 of the world's poorest countries, double aid to Africa, and increase investment in health.

    Dr Anders Nordström, acting Director-General of the World Health Organization, will be at the G8 summit. "The G8 commitments to health in the past have made a real difference," he said. "The focus this year on emerging and long-term threats such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, pandemic influenza and polio demonstrate that health and human health security are at the top of the global agenda. This attention by the world's wealthiest nations will directly benefit people living in all countries."

    The G8 focus on health in past years led directly to strengthening the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and to the creation of the Global Fund, which has leveraged pledges of $9 billion to prevent, diagnose and treat these diseases. G8 countries and other donors have also announced the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm). An anticipated IFFIm investment of US$4 billion is expected to prevent five million child deaths between 2005 and 2015, and more than five million future adult deaths.

    "The support demonstrated by G8 leaders for the AIDS response has been, and continues to be crucial to getting ahead of the epidemic," said Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We have made great strides in increasing access to HIV treatment and prevention services, but the epidemic continues to outpace the response. We must build on the commitments made last year to make universal access to HIV treatment, prevention and care a reality.”

    "In Genoa, five years ago, the G8 leaders announced the intention to create a Global Fund," said Prof. Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "Since then, the G8 has been a consistently strong supporter of the Global Fund, and several millions deaths have been averted through Global Fund-supported programmes in 131 countries as a result."

    "Scaling up comprehensive health services is entirely feasible and remains the common underlying platform required to underpin the numerous separate health initiatives currently underway, including the introduction of new life-saving vaccines and technologies. We look to continuing support from G8 and other donor countries to reach our ambitious goals,” said Dr Julian Lob-Levyt, Executive Secretary of the GAVI Alliance. “Furthermore, a G8 endorsement and launch of an Advance Market Commitment would allow us to scale up research and development of much-needed vaccines for the developing world thereby saving more lives and achieving the millennium development goals. We are now actively engaged on how GAVI together with other development partners can harmonize, align efforts and finance around country plans to rapidly scale up service delivery to meet the health MDGs,” he added.

    G8 countries have developed national plans to tackle pandemic influenza and have also helped to support global preparations to improve the world's ability to identify and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. However there are still gaps - places where emerging diseases, including pandemic influenza, may go unnoticed. Finding and eradicating these disease blind spots is critical. Early warning systems will save lives, reduce suffering and mitigate costs.

    The G8's consistent support to polio eradication has also been instrumental in reducing the number of polio endemic countries to just four. More than half of the $4 billion of polio funding since 1985 has been given by G8 countries.

    The success of all health programmes depends on urgently addressing the health workforce crisis. The world is now short of four million health workers - with the lack of doctors, nurses and laboratory experts most acute in 57 of the world's poorest countries.

    "Health workers are a pillar of any health system," said Dr Nordström. "The G8 leaders, through their direct influence over finance, health, education and migration, can make decisions which will transform the opportunities for training and retaining health workers in the places where they are most urgently needed."

    The G8 takes place from 15 to 17 July in St Petersburg, Russia. The official agenda includes three issues: global energy security, education and fighting infectious diseases.
  8. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 14:14
    G8 Leaders Highlight the Importance of Effectively Combating Infectious Diseases
    The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) commends the leaders attending the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in St. Petersburg for prioritizing global health issues in their call for increased and sustained commitment and action to combat infectious diseases. Traditionally-neglected diseases, and HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, account for millions of deaths annually. Leaders recognized the toll that these epidemics, especially HIV/AIDS, exact on societies and economies. They reiterated their historical pledges to promote the development of new AIDS prevention technologies ― including vaccines and microbicides — as critical to the international goal of universal access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs.

    Specifically, IAVI welcomes a range of shared commitments emphasized in the G8 communiqué:

    » Building R&D capacity in developing countries
    The G8 leaders highlighted the need to expand partnerships with developing countries. IAVI wholeheartedly concurs with the G8’s commitment to intensify research collaborations that involve scientists from developing countries in international scientific research programs. IAVI believes – and significantly invests in – partnerships that foster the strengthening of research and health care infrastructure in these countries, while accelerating the development of essential new tools such as an AIDS vaccine.

    » Collaborating through the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise
    During the Sea Island Summit of 2004, the G8 affirmed the need for an accelerated and more collaborative AIDS vaccine research effort and recognized the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise -- an alliance of independent entities working to solve the most pressing scientific challenges for HIV vaccines. IAVI applauds the G8’s commitment to supporting the efforts of the Enterprise partners. IAVI also notes the Russian proposal to establish a regional coordination mechanism to promote HIV vaccine development in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia and welcomes the G8 call for this initiative to be closely coordinated with the Enterprise and its members.

    » Fostering contributions by Product Development Public-Private Partnerships
    Building on last year’s G8 communiqué, G8 leaders this year once again recognized the crucial role played by innovative institutions such as product development public-private partnerships (PDPs) in leading the research and development (R&D) effort for neglected diseases, including HIV/AIDS. IAVI, itself a PDP, appreciates this expression of support from the G8.

    » Harnessing innovative financing mechanisms
    IAVI believes that the private sector – both biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies – hold critical expertise and resources that could speed the R&D of an AIDS vaccine. We welcome the G8’s support for Advance Market Commitments as an instrument that can complement the crucial “push” funding or direct subsidy of R&D efforts.

    A comprehensive response to HIV demands the dramatic scale up of existing prevention, treatment and care services today and, with equal urgency, the investment in the development of better tools for the future – drugs, diagnostics and new prevention technologies, notably vaccines and microbicides. There is a particular need for a range of tools appropriate for the most vulnerable, including women and marginalized populations. IAVI will continue to work with the Governments of the G8 nations and other partners to translate this year’s G8 commitments into increased political, financial and scientific support and expanded partnerships with the developing world to accelerate the development of an AIDS vaccine. Continued bold leadership coupled with sustained and concerted action are essential to successfully turning the tide against HIV/AIDS.

    IAVI urges G8 leaders to continue their support of sustainable response to HIV/AIDS.
  9. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 14:16
    Daily HIV/AIDS Report

    Global Challenges | G8 Leaders Fail To Adopt Vaccine Purchase Plan for Diseases Such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria
    [Jul 19, 2006]
    Leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations at their summit did not act on an opportunity to adopt an advance market commitment plan aimed at funding the development of vaccines for diseases -- including HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria -- that largely affect developing nations, pharmaceutical companies said on Tuesday, Reuters Health reports (Reuters Health, 7/18). Under the plan, G8 nations would provide between $800 million and $6 billion to subsidize the purchase of new vaccines. Wealthy nations also would provide funding to pharmaceutical companies when they produce safe and effective vaccines, and drug makers would sell the vaccines at reduced prices in developing countries when G8 nations have provided the promised amount. The total amount of the G8 pledge and the price per dose of each vaccine would be negotiated ahead of time (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/13). G8 nations had planned to choose a main project for the plan when they met in St. Petersburg, Russia, for their three-day summit, which ended on Monday, but disagreements over funding stalled the plan. Harvey Bale, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations in Geneva, said although the plan stalled at the summit, he hoped that the G8 would keep working on the concept and that the program would be adopted soon. GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Sanofi-Aventis and Wyeth are among the drug companies that could participate in the plan, Reuters Health reports (Reuters Health, 7/18).
  10. [verwijderd] 20 juli 2006 15:25
  11. [verwijderd] 28 juli 2006 12:41

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided 16 grants totaling $287 million over five
    years to establish an international network of HIV vaccine discovery consortia, supported by
    central laboratories and data analysis facilities. The goal of this new network is to overcome
    major scientific obstacles facing HIV vaccine research, and accelerate the development of an
    effective vaccine that could help bring the global AIDS epidemic under control.
    The grants bring together more than 165 investigators from 19 countries to design and evaluate
    novel vaccine candidates capable of eliciting immune responses believed to be critical for
    protection against HIV. As new vaccine candidates are created, grantees will test the vaccines
    using standardized protocols, share data in real time, and compare results so that the most
    promising vaccine approaches can be quickly prioritized for further development, including
    clinical trials in humans.
    The 16 grants, known collectively as the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery, include:
    . Vaccine discovery consortia: Eleven grants establish large-scale vaccine discovery
    consortia to pursue a range of innovative strategies for designing an effective HIV
    o Neutralizing antibodies: Five consortia will focus on designing vaccine
    candidates capable of eliciting effective neutralizing antibodies against HIV
    o Cellular immunity: Six consortia will focus on overcoming significant
    shortcomings with current vaccine candidates designed to elicit effective cellular
    . Central facilities: Five grants establish central facilities to support comparative
    evaluations of the vaccine candidates created by the discovery consortia. These include
    three laboratory networks for evaluating the immune responses elicited by vaccine
    candidates, a research specimen repository, and a data and statistical management
    These grants target new resources to research priorities identified in the Scientific Strategic
    Plan of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an international alliance of researchers, funders, and
    advocates dedicated to accelerating HIV vaccine development by implementing a shared
    scientific plan. The Enterprise plan, developed by 140 scientists worldwide and published in the
    February 2005 issue of PLoS Medicine, outlines six priority areas: vaccine discovery, laboratory
    standardization, manufacturing, clinical trials capacity, regulatory capacity, and intellectual
    property. (The Enterprise plan is available at, and additional
    information about the Enterprise is available at
    Following are descriptions of each of the 16 grants.

    The six grants focused on cellular immunity include:
    . Novel Recombinant Adenovirus and Mycobacteria Vector-Based Vaccines for
    Lead investigator: Norman Letvin, Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess
    Medical Center
    Grant amount: $18 million

    Optimization and Efficacy of a Transcutaneous “Stealth” Adenovirus Vector
    Vaccine for Mucosal Protection Against HIV
    Lead investigator: Steven Patterson, Imperial College London
    Grant amount: $9.2 million

    The consortia supported by these two grants will work in parallel to address a potentially
    major shortcoming of the leading vaccine approach for eliciting cellular immunity to HIV,
    called adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) vectored vaccines. While Ad5-vectored vaccine
    candidates have been shown in early clinical trials to elicit relatively strong and longlasting
    cellular immunity against HIV, they may be ineffective in developing countries.
    These vaccine candidates use Ad5 as a vector, or “carrier,” to transfer inactive genetic
    material from HIV into human cells and stimulate an immune response to HIV. However,
    many people in developing countries have been exposed to Ad5 in its naturally
    circulating form (it causes common respiratory and intestinal infections), and have
    developed a pre-existing immunity to it, which could render Ad5 less effective as a
    carrier virus. The Patterson and Letvin consortia will use different approaches to try to
    circumvent pre-existing immunity to Ad5 by designing vaccines based on less prevalent
    serotypes of adenovirus (for example, Ad35 and Ad41), to which few people are likely to
    have been exposed. They will also develop polymer-coated shields to “hide” adenovirus
    vectors from pre-existing immunity.
    Dr. Patterson’s consortium will also focus on testing a system for delivering an HIV
    vaccine by skin patch, which would be more practical for developing countries than a
    needle-based vaccine. And in addition to adenovirus-based vaccines, Dr. Letvin’s
    consortium will study the use of modified versions of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis
    (recombinant BCG and recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis) as potential vectors for
    HIV vaccines.
  12. [verwijderd] 28 juli 2006 12:58

    flosz schreef:

    The six grants focused on cellular immunity include:
    . Novel Recombinant Adenovirus and Mycobacteria Vector-Based Vaccines for
    Lead investigator: Norman Letvin, Harvard University and Beth Israel Deaconess
    Medical Center
    Grant amount: $18 million
    M.b.t. Letvin/Barouch/Goudsmit/, zie o.a.:
  13. [verwijderd] 10 augustus 2006 08:34
    Bill Gates schenkt 500 miljoen aan Aidsfonds
    WASHINGTON - De Bill & Melinda Gates stichting geeft de komende jaren 500 miljoen dollar aan de Global Fund stichting, die zich wereldwijd inzet in de strijd tegen Aids, tuberculose en malaria. Het is de grootste schenking die het in geldnood verkerende fonds ooit heeft ontvangen.

    Miljardair Bill Gates, oprichter van softwaregigant Microsoft, bestempelde woensdag de stichting als „een van de belangrijkste gezondheidsinitiatieven in de hedendaagse wereld”.

    Gates doneerde eerder al in totaal 150 miljoen dollar aan het fonds. De nieuwe schenking komt op het moment dat over minder dan een week de jaarlijkse internationale Aidsconferentie plaatsvindt.
  14. [verwijderd] 10 augustus 2006 08:37

    bassie1971 schreef:

    Bill Gates schenkt 500 miljoen aan Aidsfonds
    WASHINGTON - De Bill & Melinda Gates stichting geeft de komende jaren 500 miljoen dollar aan de Global Fund stichting, die zich wereldwijd inzet in de strijd tegen Aids, tuberculose en malaria. Het is de grootste schenking die het in geldnood verkerende fonds ooit heeft ontvangen.

    ff plakken:
  15. [verwijderd] 10 augustus 2006 11:13
    Aidsfilantropie Bill Gates stuit op kritiek
    De rol die Bill Gates speelt in de aidsbestrijding, valt niet te onderschattten. Gisteren weer zegde de oprichter van Microsoft 500 miljoen dollar toe aan een stichting die aids, tuberculose en malaria bestrijdt. Toch is niet iedereen enthousiast over zijn rol.

    Het mag geen wonder heten dat de belangrijke geldschieters Bill en zijn echtgenote Melinda zondag in Toronto de voornaamste toespraak houden bij de opening van de zestiende Internationale Aids Conferentie.

    Gates' stichting stak sinds de oprichting in 2000 10 miljard dollar in hulpprojecten in Afrika en Azië. Jaarlijks gaat 800 miljoen dollar naar de bestrijding van aids, tbc en malaria in Afrika.

    De Microsoftbaas verhoorde de smeekbede van onderzoekers om fors te investeren in de strijd tegen aids die in arme landen het meest vitale deel van de bevolking bedreigt. Cijfers over een aantal Afrikaanse landen, zoals Zimbabwe, Botswana en Burkina Faso, tonen aan dat die laatste investering - evenveel als de wereldgezondheidsorganisatie WHO uitgeeft - zeker geen druppel op de gloeiende plaat is. Zo is Botswana de eerste Afrikaanse staat die voldoet aan de eisen van de WHO om de helft van de mensen met hiv van medicijnen te voorzien.

    Toch zal in Toronto kritiek op de IT-miljardair klinken. Gates zou een ‘charito-cratie’ hebben opgebouwd. De groeiende geldstroom versterkt de invloed van de filantropen, van wie Gates de voornaamste exponent is. Zeker in deze kringen geldt: wie betaalt, bepaalt. Zeer voordelig voor Gates is dat 50% van zijn filantropie aftrekbaar is voor de Amerikaanse belastingen.

    Aids-onderzoeker Joep Lange, twee jaar geleden voorzitter van de vorige aidsconferentie in Bangkok, is één van de wetenschappers die jaren om fondsen heeft gevraagd. Hij verwacht niet dat de zesdaagse conferentie op wetenschappelijk gebied veel zal opleveren. Wat de Amsterdamse hoogleraar betreft zou veel geld kunnen worden besteed aan studies naar het effect van besnijdenis van mannen. Zes van de tien hiv-infecties bij mannen zou op die manier kunnen worden voorkomen. Onderzoek in Oeganda wijst uit dat door besnijdenis het aantal besmettingen van man op vrouw met 30% afneemt.

    Verder vraagt Lange aandacht en geld voor drugsverslaafden in Oost-Europa. Vuile naalden zijn daar vaak een bron van infectie. Deskundigen en internationale organisaties schatten dat het aantal hiv-geïnfecteerden in Rusland niet ver verwijderd is van 1 miljoen.

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