Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lights Out For Merck's HIV Vaccine Program?

Perhaps underscoring ARW's suggestion re the need to explore alternative approaches to dealing with infectious disease, Merck have ended their phase II HIV vaccine trial due to lack of efficacy. This spells the end for their Adenovirus-based vector, the fruits of 20 years of R & D work. At least for the time being, they apparently have no specific plans to continue their HIV vaccine program.

Maybe a vector that induces a more vigorous immune response, such as VSV or vaccinia, will be more successful...and maybe Merck or competitors will be shopping around for new vector platforms in the near future...