Politics at play in Canadian HIV plant

The Canadian government is holding out hope for construction of an HIV vaccine manufacturing facility with the Gates Foundation, but the Winnipeg-based International Centre for Infectious Diseases will not be part of the plan. The ICID bid has been rejected, despite earlier signs it was the likely winner.

ICID chief executive Heather Medwick is awaiting details, following "some general comments" from the Public Health Agency of Canada last week on why the bid failed.

The facility was to house the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, a $139-million collaboration between Ottawa and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The plant was to be used by researchers worldwide as a non-profit location to manufacture HIV vaccine candidates for clinical trials.

Medwick says she was told the facility itself could still be built. The project is now "being assessed," and the Gates Foundation is working with the health agency toward an announcement in the next few months. A local press report speculates that the Liberal Party candidacy of Medwick's ICID predecessor, Terry Duguid, has been an impediment to the ICID bid.

- here's the article

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