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New Partnership Aims To Develop AIDS Vaccine

London (AFP) Jun 21, 2005
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative said Tuesday it is teaming up with a major international pharmaceutical manufacturer to develop an AIDS vaccine using new technology.

In a statment, the IAVI said its first-of-its-kind partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals would "facilitate early research and development of GSK's non-human primate adenovirus vaccine vector as an enabling component of an effective AIDS vaccine".

Under the agreement, announced in London, IAVI and GlaxoSmithKline will jointly develop the technology, which uses non-infectious vaccine vectors to stimulate specific immune responses directed against HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS.

The vectors are derived from adenoviruses, originally isolated from non-human primates, which have been engineered to be non-infectious and capable of efficiently delivering genes expressing HIV proteins to the immune system.

"We hope this will be the beginning of a long term partnership that brings together some of the most promising technologies in the field," said Seth Berkley, president and chief executive of the IAVI.

GlaxoSmithKline said joint research would initially focus on vaccines "designed to elicit immune responses against variants of HIV that circulate predominantly in Africa".

Once pre-clinical evaluations are completed, GlaxoSmithKline and the IAVI intend to carry out clinical trials.

The non-human primate adenovirus vector technology was derived from research conducted by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and licensed to GlaxoSmithKline.

Financial terms of Tuesday's agreement were not disclosed.

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'Molecular Zipper' Holds Clues To Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Mad Cow Disease
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jun 10, 2005
An international team of chemists and molecular biologists has discovered a fundamental molecular mechanism that seems to play an important role in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, mad cow disease and two-dozen other degenerative and fatal diseases.

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