Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates hoped that a vaccine for AIDS will become reality in the next five to 10 years.
His charity foundation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has so far pent about $400 million a year on AIDS drug research.
“Probably the top priority is a vaccine. If we had a vaccine that can protect people, we can stop the epidemic,” he said at the anti-AIDS concert in Paris.
According to the UN, 39 million died of AIDS since 1981 and another 35 million are suffering from AIDS, especially in African countries. Despite billions of funds, a vaccine has remained elusive in all these years.
Currently, a combination of drugs are used to treat suppress the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Traditional antibody-based vaccine candidates have ony been successful partially.
In February, a new drug tested on monkeys proved effective to protect against an animal version of HIV. Last week, a new research found that orderly immunizations adapted with different phases of immune responses could be the key to a HIV vaccine.
Scientists at The Rockefeller University, The Scripps Research Institute, Weill Cornel Medical College, and International AIDS vaccine initiative have found that orderly immunizations adapted with different phases of immune response could produce a special set of antibodies called “neutralizing antibodies,” that can fight the HIV virus – evidence to their long-term mission.
William Schief and his colleagues at Scripps, created an antigen that made CD4 site – the binding site with which HIV virus attaches itself to T cell (immune cell) and infects it, easily reachable. The second antigen that quite resembled the original one found in HIV was designed by John Moore and Rogier Sanders at Weil Cornell.
The first form of antigen showed hope in provoking the B cell to generate and increase the production to antibodies to neutralize the HIV virus, but the second form of antigen withstood the later stages of infection by triggering the mice to produce antibodies.