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AIDS Vaccine Research - Government vs Private Industry


The chief of federal AIDS research has reportedly said drug companies do not have an incentive to develop a vaccine against HIV.

The Associated Press says Dr. Edmund Tramont recently testified that drug companies are likely to wait until the government develops a vaccine – and profit from that research. The AP says Dr. Tramont testified in a recent lawsuit.

For reaction, English to Africa’s Joe De Capua spoke with Mitchell Warren, executive director of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition. From New York, he commented on the published report.

“There’s certainly truth to the fact that industry doesn’t have a great incentive around not just the search for an AIDS vaccine but around vaccines in general. We see this happening. Throughout the industry has been very slow to pick up vaccine development. Having said that, I think it’s a little unfair to suggest that somebody’s just going to wait for the government to do it. Governments don’t develop vaccines either. What we see and what we’re actually quite excited about is a number of creative collaborations with government-supported researchers working with industry. When we see an AIDS vaccine, it will be because government and industry together get us there. I don’t think either entity is going to do it alone,” he says.

Mr. Warren adds, “Industry knows how to develop products, but they don’t put their own financing into it. So, they’re not going to do it alone. Government has financial effort around the search for a vaccine, but they don’t historically develop vaccines themselves so they need to marry government money with industry know how.”

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