PharmExec Blog

A Black Friday in AIDS

Yesterday the hope of “a global AIDS vaccine in our lifetime” was pretty much shattered. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime commander of the US’s wavering war on AIDS, delivered the last nail in the coffin of what had been a bold research and development effort by both Merck and the National Institutes of Health to develop a vaccine using a cold-virus carrier.

Fauci announced that he was canceling large-scale clinical trials for the NIH’s version, which contained pieces of HIV strains from around the world in a beautiful attempt to offer equal protection to everyone. “We’re not going away,” he said. “I don’t see this as chilling, but realistic.”

It’s surely a black Friday for all the researchers and advocates who have worked valiantly for more than a decade only to reach the end of the dream. The fear is that the money, minds, and muscle will now move on. And it surely will unless a new generation picks up the flag.

Read the Wall Street Journal’s veteran AIDS reporter Marilyn Chase’s piece here.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted July 21, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    With all the time & money that has been spent in the past 7-10 years in this area, it is disappointing to see the whole endeavor fail. Aside from Merck & NIH, I recall the explosion of VaxGen in northern California with their convincing model of commercializing an AIDS vaccine. So many man-hours, so many people affected….mostly the patients.

  2. Olufemi Rabiu, PhD
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    This is a disappointing moment to all those who invested their time and emotions into this laudable project, especially the patients that have waited for the moment to say EUREKA! We should not be discouraged – obviously it has not worked out the way we expected but it would next time…….. science is about knowledge, perseverance and achievement. This is indeed a ‘Black Friday’.

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