AVAC releases strategic AIDS vaccine plan

AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition officials have welcomed the release of the Council of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise’s strategic plan to capitalize on recent advances in AIDS vaccine research.

One of the key goals of the plan, FierceVaccines.com reports, is to develop a complete mobilization strategy that will identify key gaps, new funding sources and opportunities to make the best use of already committed funds. Another goal of the plan is to identify priority, time-sensitive issues that can be quickly resolved.

AVAC executive director Mitchell Warren told FierceVaccines.com that the document was critical and should be implemented as quickly as possible to improve efficiency and transparency in AIDS vaccine research.

“This is the most exciting period in HIV vaccine research in the last three decades," Mitchell told FierceVaccines.com. "As we enter this new era in vaccine and HIV prevention research, scientists, funders and advocates are grappling with both the excitement of scientific breakthroughs and the realities of funding shortfalls. This plan has the potential to help meet the current challenges in the field. But a plan is only as good as its execution, and AVAC will be watching and reporting on how the field comes together to capitalize both on the consensus of the plan and the promise of the science.”

Bill Snow, one of the co-founders of AVAC, told FierceVaccines.com that the plan provides a good framework, but noted that the AIDS research field also has to be willing to be flexible to quickly react to the changing realities of the AIDS epidemic and research.

“This plan proposes a comprehensive strategy that goes beyond the scientific activities of any single funder or organization,” Snow told FierceVaccines.com. “There is now an urgent need to broaden international participation in the work that is necessary to build on the recent developments that have made HIV vaccine design and development as exciting and essential as it has ever been.”