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Jake72:
Anyone know anything about this?  It's taken from a Canadian gov't site. 

Theravax to develop a HIV vaccine to be tested in Canada

Dr Jean-Marie Dupuy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viropro Inc., (Montreal) announced the creation of Theravax Inc., a division of Viropro, aimed at developing and manufacturing therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of patients suffering from cancer or from chronic infections with viruses such as HIV or hepatitis. The HIV vaccine will be the first product to be developed and marketed. Its development will be carried out with the assistance and involvement of world leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS. Clinical studies are scheduled to start in Canada in 2007. This HIV therapeutic vaccine is expected to be marketed in 2010. According to a previous phase 2 clinical study, the HIV therapeutic vaccine should allow a significant number of vaccinated AIDS patients to avoid or delay normally required treatment with an anti-HIV tri-therapy, thus avoiding the severe side-effects associated with such treatments. Using a similar vaccination process, therapeutic vaccines against hepatitis will also be developed. They will then be followed by therapeutic vaccines against various types of cancer. http://www.viropro.com

http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/inp-pp.nsf/en/ph01694e.html

The Viropro website says this:

'Theravax, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Viropro Inc., is working at developing and manufacturing autologous dendritic cell-based therapeutic vaccines for treatment of patients with chronic viral infections. The therapeutic vaccine that will be produced in manufacturing units will be made from patientsí blood cells loaded with disease-products obtained from the same patients.'

ScienceGuy25:
Hi Jake

Haven't heard about this one specifically but i've been getting involved with the dendrtiic cell vaccine therapies lately in my own research.  They are definitly "hot" right now in the field of immunology and hopefully they bring some exciting results.  They've been proving relatively effective in the field of prostate cancer.

If you're interested, i'll give you the terribly oversimplified, quick version of dendritic cell vaccine therapy.  Dendritic cells are considered a professional antigen presenting cell, that is they take up bits and pieces of nasty things like viruses and present them to t-cells along with other signals which causes activation of the T-cell. ie) it goes out on a mission to kill any cells infected with this virus it has been presented with.  People have been doing all kinds of neat tricks with these cells since their discovery. You can take them out of a persons body, get them activated against a specific "antigen" then put them back in and hope they relay a message to T-cells to kill cells expressing that antigen.  As you can imagine it gets immensely more complicated than that....
I can probably find more info if you want some reading material.

Cheers

ScienceGuy

Jake72:
Thanks a lot, Science Guy, for that explanation.  I remember the hubbub about that French/Brazilian dendritic cell vaccine study a couple years ago.  The Viropro website leads me to believe that the Canadian research is somehow connected to the French research, if only because Viropro is telling investors that  this is the first proof of the effectiveness of a therapeutic HIV vaccine, using language almost identical to that used in the press releases about the French findings and referring to some prior phase II study about the technology. 

What struck me about all this is that the company seems so confident about getting the vaccine on the market in 2010.  Could one be approved so soon?

ScienceGuy25:

--- Quote from: Jake72 on August 21, 2006, 09:59:13 PM ---Thanks a lot, Science Guy, for that explanation.  I remember the hubbub about that French/Brazilian dendritic cell vaccine study a couple years ago.  The Viropro website leads me to believe that the Canadian research is somehow connected to the French research, if only because Viropro is telling investors that  this is the first proof of the effectiveness of a therapeutic HIV vaccine, using language almost identical to that used in the press releases about the French findings and referring to some prior phase II study about the technology. 

What struck me about all this is that the company seems so confident about getting the vaccine on the market in 2010.  Could one be approved so soon?

--- End quote ---

Hi Jake

The techniques and the "clinical grade" products to produce dendritic cell vaccines are already out there and they've proven quite safe in clinical trials.  So yes in theory a vaccine could definitly be approved by 2010.  The only thing I'm uncertain about is how they'll be targeting HIV infected cells.  I don't work specifically on HIV so I can't give you a great explanation (HIV worker could do better if/when he reads this) 

However as I understand it, one of the big problems with HIV is that latently infected cells dont' express many (any) antigens which the body's t-cells can recognize and destroy.  So I don't know exactly what antigen these people will be targeting with their dendritic cells - when i get a chance i'll try to learn a little bit more about it for you. 

Jake72:
Thanks again, Science Guy.  I'm not exactly as science-minded as I should be, so I appreciate your input.   It's a very interesting concept, and I'll definitely be watching it.   

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