A group of leading scientists called for a human vaccines project to facilitate the development of next-generation vaccines against deadly diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative said on Thursday in an article.
The article's authors, led by Wayne Koff, IAVI's chief scientific officer, surveyed new biomedical technologies that could be used to advance the development of new vaccines. The authors proposed the coordinated effort of small, iterative clinical studies in human volunteers to create a better picture of the systemic requirements of vaccine-induced immunity. The information could be applied to improve future vaccine design.
Koff and his co-authors argued that more success could be achieved in vaccine development if studies were combined and coordinated under a single goal-oriented program.
While vaccines collectively prevent the death of two to three million people annually, researchers have not yet been able to develop broadly effective vaccines against a number of lethal infectious agents. The authors said that new approaches are needed to prevent infection by pathogens that have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to evade the human immune system.
The scientists published the article in the current issue of Science.
Other authors included Rick King, IAVI's vice president of vaccine design, Dennis Burton, the scientific director of IAVI's neutralizing antibody consortium, Rafi Ahmed of the Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University, Philip Johnson of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Gary Navel of Sanofi-Aventis, Maharaj Bhan, the secretary of India's Department of Biotechnology, Stanley Plotkin of the University of Pennsylvania and Bruce Walker of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital.