After serving as “a lifeline to poor countries, supplying HIV drugs that have saved millions of lives â€¦ [n]ow India is aiming to become a drugs factory for rich countries such as Japan,” which is looking to use more generic drugs in an effort to slow rising health care costs, Nature News reports.
Scientists at the Ragon Institute â€“ a joint enterprise of Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University formed in 2009 to bring together diverse disciplines to work on HIV â€“ “using a powerful mathematical tool previously applied to the stock market have identified an Achilles heel in HIV that could be a prime target for AIDS vaccines or drugs,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
The final phase of testing for GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’ malaria vaccine, RTS,S, is underway in seven sub-Saharan African countries, and “[i]f the results, due to be released later this, year confirm the vaccine’s efficacy in preventing malaria, it could be made available as early as 2015,” IRIN reports.
The recent achievements in studies looking at treatment as prevention “were only made possible by the partnership between publicly funded scientists and private drug companies,” Ward Cates, president of research at FHI; Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa; and Myron Cohen, director of the UNC Division of Infectious Disease and the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Disease, write in an opinion piece in the Huffington Post.
The success of antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS “has fooled us into believing HIV is under control. It is not. â€¦ The fact remains that no sexually acquired infection has ever been controlled in democratic societies except by vaccines,” Lawrence Corey, president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and principal investigator of the international HIV Vaccine Trials Network, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
The Economist examines how “the past decade has seen changes in how vaccines are developed, financed and delivered â€“ solving, at least partially, the conundrum of the vaccine market: poor regions have ample demand for vaccines but little ability to pay for them. As a result, immunisation rates in the poor world have soared.”
CONRAD and the South African Government’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) on Tuesday announced a license agreement that grants TIA the rights to manufacture and distribute tenofovir gel in Africa, according to a CONRAD statement. Â TIA also will establish a joint venture with drug maker Cipla Medpro and iThemba Pharmaceuticals for…
The meningococcal vaccine MenAfriVac, which is made by the Indian generic drug company Serum Institute, is “dramatically better” at producing a protective effect among African children in three countries than “older so-called meningococcal polysaccaride vaccines, including Mencevax from GlaxoSmithKline,” according to a paper describing two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Reuters reports.
A 24-month clinical trial looking at the effectiveness of tenofovir gel use among women to reduce the risk of HIV infection is set to begin in South Africa in late July or early August, the Mail & Guardian reports.
The New York Times reports on the success of a new meningococcal vaccine in West Africa, where very few cases of the disease have been detected in countries that use MenAfriVac, which costs 50 cents per dose.