European AIDS Conference: Biotechnology Fighting HIV Threat
Warsaw - The Polish capital hosted the 9th European AIDS Conference (EACS) from October 25-29. As Europe is moving fast in the fight against HIV, approximately 3,000 visitors at this year's conference venue - the Warsaw International Expo-centre EXPO XXI (see photo) - affirmed the very high interest in this topic.
Among the latest results of retroviral therapy and the presentation of the 48 week in treatment-data of F. Hoffmann-La Roche's fusion inhibitor and potential block buster Fuzeon, modern biotechnological approaches were discussed thoroughly. Prof Giuseppe Pantaleo, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland, debated the pros and cons of HIV-vaccines. As companies like Merck, Aventis, GSK, Bavarian Nordic and Acambis are already developing vaccine candidates using different vectors and are conducting pre- and even clinical trials, this new approach in the fight against HIV still has to suffer many setbacks. Early this year the vaccine AIDSVAX by the U.S. company VaxGen Inc. flunked phase III trials. The future of the once promissing drug candidate is still uncertain.