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Executive Summary

AIDS VACCINE DEVELOPMENT: GOVERNMENT/PRIVATE SECTOR COLLABORATIVE FRAMEWORK is established by the Public Health Service in an Aug. 22 Federal Register notice. Noting that PHS agencies are at an "important stage" in the development of a vaccine for AIDS, the notice states that the agencies are interested in working with industry, universities, and other members of the private sector "to facilitate the prompt development, testing, production and distribution of an AIDS vaccine." Although PHS "may provide" patent licensing research results, laboratory facilities, animal models and testing and assistance in the formulation of clinical trials under collaborative agreements, the framework itself does not establish an "assistance program or a request for proposals," the notice stresses. PHS said it is seeking collaborative plans that consider "virus subunits, genetically engineered subunit antigens, synthetic peptides, infectious recombinant viruses, anti-idiotype antibodies, attenuated HTLV-III/LAV, killed HTLV-III/LAV and other potentially immunogenic molecular configurations." The notice groups possible vaccine development approaches into three categories: "synthetic"; "live, genetically modified viral vector or attenuated"; and "other," which includes passive immunization. PHS said preference will be given to "comprehensive" proposals that consider all aspects of vaccine development and testing. Individual organizations unable to carry out a comprehensive plan should enter into collaborative relationships that would enable them to do so, PHS advised. The negotiation of collaborative agreements will be handled on a "case-by-case" basis, according to PHS. Proposals should be submitted by Oct. 21, but plans received after that date also will be considered. Collaborative proposals, or inquiries about the framework, should be sent to Lowell Harmison, Science Advisor, PHS, Room 13-95, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland, 20857, 301/443-2650.

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