Gene therapy protects mice from HIV; Statens Serum Institut, Aeras start trial of vaccine for latent TB;

> Researchers have thus far been unsuccessful in creating a vaccine to protect against HIV infection. So California Institute of Technology virologist David Baltimore and his team tried a new approach--inserting DNA for an HIV-neutralizing antibody into mice--and found the gene therapy protected 100% of the animals from contracting the virus. Article

> Denmark's Statens Serum Institut and Maryland-based Aeras have kicked off a Phase I clinical trial of a vaccine to protect people who are latently infected with TB from developing the active form of the disease. Aeras CEO Jim Connolly notes that 2 billion people live with an inactive form of the disease, 5% to 10% of whom could become infected with full-blown TB in their lifetime. Release

> Inviragen has started a Phase II trial of its dengue vaccine DENVax. The company plans to test the safety and immunogenicity of DENVax in four different age groups. Report

> The Swedish Medical Products Agency has given Sweden's Immunicum the green light for a Phase I trial of the company's kidney cancer vaccine, which is based on dendritic cells from healthy individuals. Release

And Finally... The incidence of varicella zoster virus, which can cause chicken pox, has dropped 90% in infants 12 months and younger since vaccination against the disease became routine in older kids, according to research published in Pediatrics. Report