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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center opens HIV-vaccine lab in South Africa
Date:10/23/2013

SEATTLE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center tomorrow will celebrate the grand opening of a state-of-the-art HIV vaccine laboratory in Cape Town,

South Africa. The lab will be one of Africa's most advanced scientific facilities.

The lab is part of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, which is headquartered at Fred Hutch in Seattle and is the world's largest network dedicated to testing vaccine candidates for the prevention of HIV. The opening of the Cape Town HVTN Immunology Laboratory illustrates how the Hutch is constantly seeding new, international collaborations that bring researchers together to find a vaccine to end HIV.

The lab will analyze results from upcoming trials of innovative new HIV vaccines and will help African scientists advance their own research. The trials will test new and improved versions of vaccines which, in a trial conducted in Thailand, were shown to reduce the rate of HIV infection by about 30 percent the most promising HIV-vaccine results to date.

"We wanted to test the vaccines in a place where they could have the biggest benefit, and we needed the infrastructure to do that without shipping samples all the way back to Seattle," said HVTN Laboratory Center Director Julie McElrath, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at Fred Hutch.

HVTN staff members have spent the past two years fanning out across southern Africa, scouting trial sites and laying the foundation for trials that will involve about two dozen new sites and several thousand patients. Phase 1 studies are already taking place to make sure the vaccines are safe. The goal is to launch a large phase 3 trial to confirm effectiveness and determine any side effects in 2015.

The lab will analyze blood samples from trial participants to see how their immune systems react to the vaccine and interact with the virus. If the trial confirms the Thai trial's results, researchers may learn which response
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Contact: Kristen Woodward
media@fredhutch.org
206-667-2210
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center opens HIV-vaccine lab in South Africa
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