Vical to produce HIV trial vaccines for public-private clinical evaluation

Vical to produce HIV vaccines for public-private clinical evaluation
Vical to produce HIV vaccines for public-private clinical evaluation | Courtesy of
Vical Incorporated recently announced that it has joined the IPPOX Foundation in a contract to create HIV-antigen plasmid DNA for vaccines that will be part of clinical trials as part of a joint public and private initiative.

The contract with IPPOX, a nonprofit foundation based in Switzerland that conducts clinical trials of vaccines, is worth $4 million (USD). IPPOX is part of the Pox-Protein Public-Private Partnership (P5) that has received funds from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Based on the recent HIV vaccine Phase 1 clinical data, in which plasmid DNA, protein and poxvirus-based vaccines were co-administered, plasmid DNA priming led to higher CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses," Giuseppe Pantaleo, M.D., president of IPPOX, said. "Furthermore, co-administration of plasmid DNA and protein-based HIV vaccines during priming led to early induction of binding and neutralizing antibody responses. We believe that the inclusion of plasmid DNA will be a valuable component of a prophylactic HIV vaccine."

This new contract is in addition to the 2010 agreement Vical made with IPPOX. This first agreement obligates the companies to create DNA plasmid for HIV vaccines, to be part of further clinical trials.

"Today's announcement provides important validation for the utility of our DNA technology and the strength of our manufacturing expertise," Vijay B. Samant, Vical's president and CEO, said. "The results thus far suggest that Vical's plasmid DNA may play an important role in the new vaccine regimens under development to prevent HIV infection. We are proud to be working in collaboration with IPPOX, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and P5 on these initiatives to address an acute unmet medical need throughout the world."

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