AIDS: Indian first vaccine trials

Indian scientists on Monday began the country's first human clinical trials of a vaccine designed to prevent &to=http://' target=_blank>AIDS.

The vaccine trials are part of an international partnership among the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research, the International &to=http://' target=_blank>AIDS Vaccine Initiative and U.S.-based Targeted Genetics Corp., Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss told reporters in the western city of Pune.

"Doctors in Pune have today inoculated the first group of volunteers with the potential vaccine," Ramadoss said moments after the first subject was injected, writes the Seattle Post.

In the first phase of trial, 34 healthy volunteers have been selected for testing of tgAAC09, which consists of a synthetic copy of a portion of &to=http://' target=_blank>HIV's genetic material inserted into adeno-associated virus. This is unrelated to HIV and does not cause disease in humans, explained Ganguly.

Called Recombinant Adeno-Associated Viral Vector (RAAVV), the technology was designed by US-based biotechnology company Targeted Genetics and Columbus Children's Research Institute (CCRI) in partnership with IAVI, which is partnering India in the research with funding.

The vaccine candidate will undergo four stages of trial, with the first stage taking 18 months including six months of analyses of the one-year trial when 10 out of 12 people will be injected with the vaccine candidate while others will be injected with an inactive substance called placebo, reports the Times of India.

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