And I damn well want every syringe to be stamped “Made In Canada”. The FDA has approved a 40-person trial of a vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang of the University of Western Ontario.
“FDA approval for human clinical trials is an extremely significant milestone for our vaccine, which has the potential to save the lives of millions of people around the world by preventing HIV infection,” said Kang.There have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses that failed.There have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses that failed. (Apichart Weerawong/Associated Press)
He said there have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses. “None of the researchers in the past have used this approach,” he says of his use of a killed virus.
The vaccine, SAV001, will now have to undergo three phases of human clinical trials;
Phase 1. Beginning in January 2012, this phase will involve 30 HIV-positive people on whom safety will be retested.
Phase 2. This phase will examine immune responses in humans and will involve 600 HIV-negative people who are at high risk of contracting the AIDS virus.
Phase 3. This phase will determine the efficacy of the vaccine and will involve 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers at high risk of contracting the virus.
The only cynical thing I have to say about this is that phase 4 is “profit!” Otherwise, the university’s financial backer Sumagen will not make a return on investment. Sigh. Damn capitalism.
And a slight worry: I wonder how they classify people as being “at high risk”. I’m guessing sex workers and gays will get the nod, even if the specific individuals aren’t at any particularly high risk. I wonder if doctors who risk infection by dealing with blood every day will be included in the trials, or not, because they’re “too valuable to society”? I suppose if they volunteer, they volunteer. Just something to look out for in this otherwise promising bit of news. And ultimately, the vaccine will protect not just the common folk, but more specifically those at high risk, who might otherwise be used as human guinea pigs in this trial.
Outside of all that, holy fucking shit we may have found the vaccine against HIV! That’s huge!