Bad news on HIV vaccine

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 22, 2007 2:06 PM GMT
    This sucks. Merck has discontinued trials on what has been widely regarded as the most promising vaccine for HIV. The NY Times has the story:

    http://tinyurl.com/34aguv
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Sep 22, 2007 3:50 PM GMT
    Now that show how important it is to practice safe sex always and all the time.
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    Sep 22, 2007 7:10 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting, OW.

    Here's a link that people interested in this thread may find useful:

    http://www.salvagetherapies.org/

    salvage_therapies.org.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 22, 2007 7:16 PM GMT
    There's no money in a cure, but plenty in the treatment. Call me cynical.
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    Sep 22, 2007 7:25 PM GMT
    Im with Rugger on this ....and it not only applies to HIV...but cancer and diabetes...etc...etc...etc....the money is in the treatment, not the cure....IM VERY VERY CYNICAL OF PHARMA COMPANIES...I beleive the cures are there...

    Look at how fast a cure came out for polio....you dont see companies making money off of polio anymore do you? But these drug companies are making billions and billions off of treatment of illnesses....that if they delivered the cure....wouldnt allow them to make the same profits....makes me SICK (no pun intended)
  • liftordie

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    Sep 22, 2007 7:47 PM GMT
    it is truly sad that life does have a price and unfortunately death's is even HIGHER !!!
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    Sep 22, 2007 8:19 PM GMT
    That author of that article appears to be engaging in a bit of hyperbole. Funny how this particular vaccine is now "the most promising approach," when at the start of the trial, they called it a long shot.

    This unusual study is essentially a hedge bet: it will not have the statistical power of the typical Phase 3 efficacy trial that leads to licensure, so researchers are calling it a Phase 2b. "What do you do if you want to know if something works, and the only way to do it is humans, and you don't have enough confidence to do a Phase 3 study?" asks Peggy Johnston, who heads NIAID's AIDS vaccine program. "You do an overpowered Phase 2."

    There are literally dozens of HIV vaccine trials underway, and many more in the works. None of the current crop is likely to provide very strong protection, like the smallpox or polio vaccines. The question is whether they confer any useful protection, like current tuberculosis vaccines.

    Some of these other remarks are quite frankly, paranoid ravings. Without going into a biology lecture, the most concise summary that I can think of is: The low-hanging fruit in vaccine research has been picked. What's left is the really hard stuff.

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    Sep 22, 2007 9:01 PM GMT
    The drug industry aside, the HIV virus behaves differently than other viruses, and presents particularly problems that other viruses do not.

    Certainly there is money in drug treatment, but that doens't meant that there is not incentive or money to find a vaccine or some sort of cure, and there are certainly many invovlved in research who would be more than happy to come up with such a cure.
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    Sep 22, 2007 10:08 PM GMT
    And who buys the patents for those cures?

    To call this paranoid ravings shows a complete lack of understanding of the realities of US business.

    If there were more than just a handful of drug companies, then maybe we'd see less drug company cooperation and more drug company competition. This might just bring cures and vaccines that get to market faster, treatment saturation be damned.

    Unfortunately there is a current consolidation of power in the industry, and self-protection is priority one in that scenario.

    FDA? Puppets.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 22, 2007 10:09 PM GMT
    RUGGER IS RIGHT!!!!
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    Sep 22, 2007 10:28 PM GMT
    Wrong. There are thousands of biotechnology companies, most of which are focused on treating diseases.

    Anyway, most HIV and cancer research is done by university and government scientists - not drug companies. If you really think that there is some vast worldwide conspiracy to prevent disease cures, that involves every scientist in the world, why don't you just develop a vaccine yourself?

    Everything that Pasteur, Koch, and Salk had available in their labs can be purchased at your local hardware store, or on-line, for a few thousand dollars at the most.

    Oh, and by the way, it took more than 60 years to develop the polio vaccine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 22, 2007 11:05 PM GMT
    Of course biotechnology companies do loads of research, but they don't ultimately bring drugs to market. Drug companies do. You misunderstand the distribution channel and that consumers don't have true choice.

    No, of course it's not a vast conspiracy. I'm not sure who said it was a vast conspiracy. Good work by honest, smart folks is being done all over the place, including universities. The "conspiracy" to borrow your nice, loaded choice of wording, is actually very small, focused, and powerful. You see there's a dead-end to all this innovation and it's called Merck, Pfizer, etc. They are the gatekeepers, along with the FDA.

    I know you are not this naive. You are usually a smart poster.
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    Sep 22, 2007 11:26 PM GMT
    Actually one day I started reading in-depth about HIV and as I read the very specifics about how it works I'd come up with a cure idea. Then as I read more it seemed that it was tried and failed. Then I'd think of another, and same thing, tried and failed. This went on for a while until I could't think of any other approaches off the top of my head. And yet, there were still more things that were tried and failed that I hadn't thought of. So I'm not sure if there's someoene trying to keep cures from the public but there is certainly a crapload of research on cures - all of which has failed results.

    I imagine if research does find a working cure, the media will get word of it and any drug company will have a very hard time keeping it from the public.
  • Squarejaw

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    Sep 22, 2007 11:35 PM GMT
    Rugger, it's an interesting idea. Do you have any evidence?
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    Sep 22, 2007 11:43 PM GMT
    The whole question of whether to mainly fund research into treatment or a vaccine has been controversial for 20 years (and Anthony Fauci has been at the center of that controversy). Merck would not have undertaken this trial without government participation (funding) from NIAID.

    This vaccine was 10 years in r&d and it certainly was regarded with a lot of optimism since the start of the trial about 3 years ago.
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    Sep 23, 2007 12:33 AM GMT
    "That author of that article appears to be engaging in a bit of hyperbole. Funny how this particular vaccine is now 'the most promising approach,' when at the start of the trial, they called it a long shot."

    I don't see the hyperbole, mindgarden. Simply because it was a long shot doesn't mean it wasn't the most promising approach - the other possibilities could have held even less promise.

    Nevertheless, mindgarden's assessment makes more sense to me that ATXRugger's does, from an econ perspective. If the pharmaceutical companies choose not to bring to market certain cures for economic reasons, then why would they buy them at all from the biotechnology firms, knowing that their competitor pharmaceutical firms would face the same market conditions? And if they wouldn't buy them from the biotech firms, then those firms would have no incentive to develop the cures in the first place. Empirically, however, they seem to be pursuing such research anyway, which suggests that the pharmaceutical companies aren't playing the role Rugger and mascjockatl think they are.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 12:36 AM GMT
    No one hardly ever comes up with evidence to support any point on any of these threads. If I were lobbying congress, raising a protest, or participating in a class action suit, maybe I'd do all the legwork. I love you guys on here, but I'm not working that hard for y'all, so let's not play that pointless game. I've offered food for thought. Take it or leave it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 12:38 AM GMT
    Oligopolies buy technologies to either control their release or kill them. When the market is saturated with prior technologies, only then do new ones get released.

    Econ that is learned in the classroom is idealistic, but not necessarily what happens in the real world.

    Pharmaceuticals want to keep close tabs on the development of new technologies. They also want to look like they support new vaccines. If they keep their distance from the biotechs, then the biotechs become a threat to their bottom line.

    As a side, ever wonder who pays for all the expensive TV ads we see from pharmaceutical companies? Us, via our insurance premiums. Do we need these ads? Hardly.

    These companies have market control and shareholder value in mind, and will only act in our best interests to the extent that we believe it to be so, and not a drop more. Thank PR.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    Here Here Rugger....again...i got your back...youre right on track!!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 12:44 AM GMT
    Hey mascjockatl. Wanna earn some extra cash? I need some research done in the name of evidence. ;-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 12:50 AM GMT
    Anytime man!! Anytime!
  • Squarejaw

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    Sep 23, 2007 1:58 AM GMT
    Asking for evidence is a pointless game? It's hard to have a reality-based exchange of views when reality is taken out of the picture.
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    Sep 23, 2007 9:49 AM GMT
    Yeah, I made a mistake. I said, "If the pharmaceutical companies choose not to bring to market certain cures for economic reasons, then why would they buy them at all from the biotechnology firms, knowing that their competitor pharmaceutical firms would face the same market conditions?" But the firms' interests in preventing a cure would differ based on their current drug lines, which treat the disease in question with differing degrees of profitability.

    The firm with the most interest in preventing a cure would buy the patent, knowing that if it neglected to do so, another firm would step in, buy the patent and reap the smaller cure-based profits (since it would have nothing to lose in doing so). Since the firm with the current treatment drug would buy the patent, the biotech firm would expend the resources to develop the cure (contrary to what I thought), even knowing it would never reach market.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 9:51 AM GMT
    Just to clarify - I'm not saying that's what Merck did here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2007 11:16 AM GMT



    The Rich getting richer? This is the sad state of the world we live in. Nothing is done without some type of personal gain. Makes me sick to my stomach