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Cablegate: Japanese Hiv Vaccine Goes to Clinical Trials in the U.S.

VZCZCXRO5053
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHKO #5069 3050755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 010755Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9113
INFO RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7774
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 6517
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4794
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2952
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4109
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005069

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/J, OES/IHA AND S/GAC
DEPT PASS TO NIH/NIAID WESTERN
HHS FOR OGHA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO SOCI KHIV AMED KSCA JA
SUBJECT: JAPANESE HIV VACCINE GOES TO CLINICAL TRIALS IN THE U.S.

1. Japanese scientific and other press report that a Japanese
consortium plans to begin clinical trials of its AIDS vaccine in the
U.S. as early as 2010. It would be the first clinical test of a
Japanese-developed AIDS vaccine. The consortium includes the
University of Tokyo, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases
and biotech venture firm DNAVEC Corporation, originally created
through a project supported by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and
Welfare. Clinical trials will be conducted in cooperation with the
New York-based International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). If the
initial tests show the vaccine's safety and efficacy, larger scale
clinical trials will follow. If the later phase clinical trials are
successful, the consortium would plan to commercialize the vaccine
by 2015. According to DNAVEC officials, the company operates a
small-scale vaccine production facility for experimental purposes;
DNAVEC would expand the facility or contract with other firms to
mass produce the vaccine. 2. The vaccine is based on the
Sendai-virus vector technology developed by Tsukuba-based DNAVEC.
The nasal-spray vaccine aims to increase the number of immune cells
available to attack cells infected by HIV. In tests on monkeys, the
vaccine was successful in preventing infection in 60 percent of
subjects exposed to the virus. Various AIDS vaccines have been
tested around the world, but only a few have been found to be
effective in tests on primates. Unlike a conventional DNA vector,
the Sendai-virus vector is an RNA virus vector that elicits mucosal
immune responses necessary to provide protection against HIV with
little risk of causing disease. University of Tokyo Professor, Dr.
Tetsuo Matano, who has worked with DNAVEC to develop HIV vaccines
using the Sendai vector, will be available to IAVI as an expert
advisor during the clinical trials.

SCHIEFFER

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