Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Setback in AIDS vaccine

The pharmaceutical company Merck's much-anticipated AIDS vaccine failed to show any promising results, the New York Times reported on Sept. 22. The vaccine was not able to prevent transmission or reduce the severity of HIV.

The vaccine was the first to get as far in human trials after promising animal tests.

The new vaccine had attempted to stimulate T-cells to respond to the virus, while earlier vaccine attempts had tried to activate antibodies. As those patients who do the best with AIDS had strong T-cell response, it was hoped that this vaccine would be able to counteract the virus through the same pathway. Yet this setback questions whether HIV is a true candidate for vaccination.

Mereck plans to continue monitor participants, while not vaccinating further.

Posted by: Marisa Dowling

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