(NEW DELHI AND NEW YORK May 2, 2007) The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) signed an agreement today to address a major obstacle in AIDS vaccine development: the design of candidate vaccines to elicit neutralizing antibodies against HIV. A new Indian Medicinal Chemistry Programme, co-sponsored and co-funded by IAVI and the Department of Biotechnology, will comprise top Indian and U.S. scientists tasked with accelerating the pace of AIDS vaccine discovery and developing creative concepts for the next generation of AIDS vaccines.
IAVI Board Member and Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr. Kapil Sibal said: "Vaccine research is so critical that the Health Ministry and the Science and Technology Ministry have joined hands to provide the effort the support it needs."
"This new partnership will broaden ongoing efforts in India to find an AIDS vaccine," said Seth Berkley, CEO and President of IAVI. "With our long-term Indian collaborators, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through the National AIDS Control Organisation and the Indian Council of Medical Research, IAVI has successfully conducted two Phase I clinical trials in the country. Through this new agreement, we will continue to tap some of the best minds in biotechnology to create new paradigms for AIDS vaccine design."
"India's Department of Biotechnology is delighted to be a part of the global search for an efficacious AIDS vaccine," stated Professor Maharaj K. Bhan, Secretary, DBT. "Only through these kinds of biotechnology ventures, involving international collaborations and the sharing of scientific knowledge, can we hope to solve the complex biomedical problems of our times."
The Indian Programme will complement the work of IAVI's Neutralizing Antibody Consortium (NAC), a team of internationally recognized scientists workin
Contact: Aman Gupta
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative