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Strategic AIDS Vaccine Plan Unveiled

Strategic AIDS Vaccine Plan Unveiled

A global scientific alliance that advocates for accelerated HIV vaccine development published its strategic plan on September 7 for achieving that end. Developed with the input of 400 scientists under the aegis of the Council of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, the new Scientific Strategic Plan assesses progress to date and sets out priorities to "speed development, execution, and analysis of HIV vaccine trials."

"The plan is really a high-level document that specifies for all the major stakeholders in the field, all the major funders, the direction in which the field should go," said Alan Bernstein, executive director of the enterprise.

Two priorities were identified in developing a vaccine regimen with improved ability to prevent HIV acquisition. The first priority is to optimize clinical trials by "fully integrating iterative scientific inquiry with product development." The second priority is to "harness the full potential of preclinical models and the ongoing revolution in biomedical science." Cross-cutting considerations include engaging industry, developing talent, and optimizing existing capacity and new resources, the report says.

"We need to now sit down with industry and say, 'Look, we've made a lot of progress. We think there's a light at the end of this tunnel,'" says Bernstein. He called for "strategic partnering" among researchers, industry, and at-risk groups "so that we will get a vaccine as quickly as possible."

The full report, "The 2010 Scientific Strategic Plan of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise," was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

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