After trying and failing repeatedly to develop an AIDS vaccine, federal officials say they're going back to the drawing board to come up with some new ideas. Anthony FauciÂ told a summit meeting that "We need to turn the knob toward [basic scientific] discovery--nobody should be unclear about that," according to the Washington Post. And UC San Francisco's Walter Greene backed him up on that point, saying that it's time to execute a mid-course correction in their strategy.
Officials have been forced to rethink strategies after Merck had to halt studies into an experimental vaccine after concluding that its approach likely increased the risk of contracting the lethal virus. The NIH is spending close to half a billion dollars this year on vaccine research. About 38 percent of that money goes to testing experimental vaccines, but Fauci is calling for an even heavier emphasis on funding essential research.
- read the report from the Washington PostÂ
Long delay seen for Merck's AIDS vaccine. Report
Merck's HIV vaccine linked to higher infections rate. Report
Merck halts study of "ineffective" HIV vaccine. Report
AIDS scientist backed on new vaccine approach. Report