IAVI maps out a new route to AIDS vaccine

The head of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Seth Berkley, wants to rewrite the playbook for developing an effective AIDS vaccine. Out: The disastrous Merck approach to spur cell-based immunity. In: Recruiting antibodies to neutralize the virus. The Wall Street Journal notes that four antibodies have been identified by a research consortium as potentially up to the task while Berkley believes the list could be as high as 15. And a deactivated live virus could be used as a delivery vehicle.

With a billion dollars a year flowing to research, Berkley says new technologies need to be brought into play. And there should be far fewer vaccine conferences to attend. Dozens of meetings each year are simply a distraction at this point, says Berkley, who believes the conferences could be whittled down to one or two a year.

And rather than get depressed over researchers' inability to deliver an effective vaccine after 25 years of feverish activity, he adds, maybe everyone should keep in mind that, historically, many vaccines took decades of research work before a vaccine was OK'd for use.

- read the story from the Wall Street Journal

ALSO: A new HIV vaccine may make it possible for people infected with the virus to take a prolonged break from their regular medications without suffering side effects. Report