US to tighten funding for Aids research

US funding earmarked for an Aids vaccine will be cut in 2006, forcing scientists to cooperate among themselves and with the private sector, a top government researcher has said.

    Studies that do not yield sufficient results will lose funding

    The new US budgetary constraints spell stricter criteria for measuring the success of 30 clinical trials being run internationally, Anthony Fauci, Director at the National Institute of Health of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Monday. 

     

    Studies that do not yield sufficiently encouraging results will lose funding so that more promising research can be financed.

     

    "As we now approach 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, it has become clear that not only will there be a less than 2% increase in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget, that the previous largess that was associated with all research, particularly HIV, is now not going to be a reality for the future," Fauci said.

     

    "That will mean working even more with private industry and groups such as the non-profit International Aids Vaccine Initiative to get the most bang for the buck," he added.

     

    The US institutes make up the largest public research group in the world.

     

    Of the $600 million spent worldwide on developing an anti-HIV vaccine, $520 million is spent by the NIH. The rest comes from the public-private international initiative.

    SOURCE: AFP


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