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Human trial of second AIDS vaccine soon

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: India will soon begin human trials of a second HIV/AIDS vaccine at the Tuberculosis Research Centre in Chennai.

Announcing this at the award presentation of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) here on Tuesday, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister A. Ramadoss said trials of the indigenously developed Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) would start by the end of August or the beginning of September. The vaccine is specifically meant for the strain found in Indians. The Indian Council of Medical Research, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Tuberculosis Research Centre and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative will jointly undertake the initiative.

The new MVA gene vaccine has six genes to generate an immune response against the virus and has produced good immunogenic response in primates. The National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata has contributed to the isolation of the viral gene.

Mr. Ramadoss said the second dose of the anti-AIDS Adeno-Associated Vaccine (AAV) virus would be administered on 10 persons a month. The toxicity test on 10 persons in the first phase that began in February had shown that it was absolutely safe, he said.

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