Soon an effective vaccine against the deadly Human Immunodeficiency
Virus (HIV) will be developed at a new laboratory, in Gurgaon, Delhi.
The Translational Health Sciences and Technology Institute
(THSTI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have signed an
agreement to jointly establish, operate and fund this program. The other
institutions participating in this partnership include the International Centre
for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi and the Indian Institute
of Science in Bangalore.
The program will primarily focus on the search of antibodies
capable of neutralizing all major circulating strains of HIV. This is one of
the greatest scientific challenges to design and develop AIDS vaccine. In order
to find out which part of the virus should be targeted with the vaccine, experts
in this Indian lab will look for new antibodies and how they bind to the virus.
Secretary of DBT, Mr. M. K. Bhan said, "With 7,100 people newly infected
with HIV every day, effective tools to prevent infection are indispensable to
the fight against HIV and AIDS. A broadly effective AIDS vaccine would be a
powerful asset to efforts to arrest the spread of HIV."