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  • Britain to create market for AIDS and malaria vaccines

The United Kingdom will invest millions of pounds in HIV/AIDS and malaria vaccines to ensure that there is a stable market for them once they become available. The country also plans to do more to boost global public investment — currently around £315 million (US$600 million) a year — on research into an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to create vaccines for diseases in developing countries because many of these countries would be unable to afford them. The UK chancellor Gordon Brown would like developed nations to set up an 'advance purchase scheme' to encourage drug companies to develop vaccines faster by guaranteeing a market for them.

The United Kingdom is expected to buy 200 to 300 million doses of a potential malaria vaccine that has recently shown promising results in clinical trials (see Malaria vaccine shows promising results in children). Advance purchase of a potential HIV/AIDS vaccine could cost the United Kingdom up to £200 million (US$385 million) a year. But this investment would be worth it, say ministers, as it would save millions in aid for developing countries.

Link to full news story in The Independent

Link to full news story on BBC Online