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Scripps Research Institute Wins $13M Grant For Work On HIV Vaccine

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One of the challenges to developing an HIV vaccine is the virus targets the cells that trigger the immune system, but the B cells in some infected people produce antibodies that can neutralize a variety of HIV strains.

One of the challenges to developing an HIV vaccine is the virus targets the cells that trigger the immune system, but the B cells in some infected people produce antibodies that can neutralize a variety of HIV strains.

Scripps researchers will focus on the possibility of making a vaccine that could stimulate the creation of these antibodies.

Scripps virologist Richard Wyatt said HIV is a tough nut to crack.

“As a vaccine target, it is one of the most difficult viruses to try to vaccinate against," Wyatt explained. "But it’s definitely what we’re committed to working towards.”

Vaccine trials in monkeys have prevented HIV infection. But so far in humans, the most promising vaccine has been only 31 percent effective.

More than 35 million people worldwide were living with HIV at the end of 2012.

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