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Crowdfunding an HIV Vaccine

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posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 05:53 AM
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A non-profit company called the Immunity Project intends to crowdfund an HIV vaccine and give it out for free. They are quite far from getting FDA approved; however, preliminary experiments involving laboratory mice have been promising. They are currently trying to raise $482,000 in the span of 30 days to be able to perform one final experiment prior to meeting with FDA officials. They hope this final experiment will provide them with further data to support their claims. Upon receiving the initial green light from the FDA, they would then be able to begin Phase I trials with HIV positive human patients. They hope to complete Phase III trials by 2016 and begin mass producing the vaccine thereafter.


In order to complete this experiment by the end of March of this year, they need to raise $482,000 in the next 30 days. If successful, this will help solve a global problem that is still epidemic. AIDS kills nearly 5,000 people a day.

One important aspect of this vaccine is that it uses neither an attenuated (live) nor killed virus. Therefore, the virus will not be introduced into your system via the vaccination. It relies on the fact that 1 in 300 individuals called "HIV Controllers" have natural immunity to the HIV virus. Developing a vaccine for the HIV virus in the past had been very difficult due to the fact that the virus "shapeshifts", meaning that the virus evolves too quickly for human T and B cells to target it effectively. HIV controllers have an immune system capable of targeting special areas on the virus called epitopes. Controllers' immune system targets specific epitopes that are vital for the virus' survival and therefore aren't prone to rapid evolution and change. Similarly, the vaccine introduces these epitopes into an infected individual and thus makes their immune system more adept at identifying these regions on the virus itself. The individual's T-Cells (part of the immune system) becomes well-versed at identifying these specific epitomes and exhibit the ability to identify the same regions on the HIV virus. If enough T-Cells are recruited via this method, it might be possible to wipe out the infection and disable the HIV virus.


To clarify, our vaccine doesn't contain any virus. So no we wouldn't we be infecting anyone who is dosed with our vaccine. The vaccine formulation only contains the epitopes that HIV controllers preferentially target on the virus. The end result of this approach needs to be tested. Its possible that if we recruit enough killer T cells with improved targeting to wipe out the infection early then perhaps we can knock out the virus. Clinical testing is required to see exactly what will happen.



Further information:

Main Source

 


--Mod Edit-- Removed source of crowdfunding/pledges, ATS does not allow recruitment for causes, even worthy ones unfortunately.
edit on 1/25/2014 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


I thought South Park had it down perfectly, the cure for AIDS is a large injection of cold hard cash!

AIDS is exactly like Cancer or the Cold meaning "They" will never release or allow a cure to be found while it makes more sense to simply treat the disorder and generate profit!


That being said i hope i'm wrong and this turn out to be the real deal, and also available to the masses and not just the select few!


www.youtube.com...
edit on 25-1-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 07:35 PM
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For all those railing against big pharma, time to put your money where your mouth is and donate! Of course some caveats exist with crowd funding initiatives, but the whole idea behind this seems like a market push towards changing how things are done. And that's not a bad thing.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by andy06shake
 



"They" will never release or allow a cure to be found while it makes more sense to simply treat the disorder and generate profit!


While this is a non-profit and they are at least as of yet talking about free distribution, (although that may change in the future), you almost imply vaccines are not profitable. But they are.

Never mind the dream of any scientist to be the one who cured a global disease that has social prevalence. Understandably some efforts can be controlled, but not nearly the way you suggest.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 08:32 PM
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Having read the article the following can be stated:

While it is a symbol of hope for all of those who have been stricken with HIV, and AIDS, there are questions that should be answered and ultimately will have to be looked at.

The first would be, what kinds of side effects would there be when this vaccine is given, if it makes it to human trials? What is the failure percentage rate? And ultimately what would happen if a person was re-infected with HIV? Does it work with those who are stricken with HIV-2?

There are many more questions that are not being answered and that will have to be taken one step at a time. And the other question, is what would be the application to other diseases and conditions that are now immune to antibiotics. And ultimately what will be the biological response to such.

Another factor that will have to be discussed and looked at will be all of those who are infected with HIV and are on public assistance and ssd, what happens to them will they continue to be on such, or be expected to go out and get a job, once their system is clear of HIV? And what will happen to those who were once infected with HIV, what long term damage has been done and will they heal?

There are a lot of questions that are not being answered and that will have to have answers to before we can say that this is either a blessing or a curse and not worth it.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by sdcigarpig
 



There are many more questions that are not being answered and that will have to be taken one step at a time. And the other question, is what would be the application to other diseases and conditions that are now immune to antibiotics. And ultimately what will be the biological response to such.


Vaccines and antibiotics are completely different. Natural immunity or the ability to cause dormancy through normal immune function may never happen, or it takes a few hundred years and a lot of people die off. Speaking about viruses.

There are a few examples:


Within 100 years after the first Spanish settlement, nearly 95 percent of all Native Americans in Colombia had died. Many were killed during armed conflicts with European settlers, but the majority of deaths were caused by diseases such as smallpox and measles, which were imported by Spanish settlers (Bushnell).

Read more: Colombia - History Background - Spanish, Native, Percent, and Education - StateUniversity.com education.stateuniversity.com...


Populations in those regions have since recuperated.

-

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Kind of like comparing apples to oranges.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 12:14 AM
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Hell yeah, i want to crowdsource a space program too!



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:46 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I did add that I hope I was wrong.

Hope springs eternal!

If this is a step in the right direction, then im as happy as the next chap!

edit on 26-1-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 06:39 AM
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onequestion
Hell yeah, i want to crowdsource a space program too!


I would donate to that one too!

People need to start running more initiatives like this, hopefully without the scammer element coming in. Full disclosure of operations and whatnot should prevent this. But I can see quite a few industries that could see a major boost. And pay for what you want… idea. I love it.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 

I am looking at the MRSA issue that has come up with the last several years. At one time if you got a staph infection, one could take antibiotics, and it would clear up, now it has developed immunity to such, thus showing it can mutate and take on a more devastating response, called MRSA. And that is not the only disease that is doing such, gonorrhea is another disease that has developed an immunity to any and all antibiotic resistance and is out there.

So if this can cure and end such diseases forever, or give a good means of relief, then by all means. But if there is a chance that said disease can develop an immunity to such, then we should proceed with caution, and care.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by sdcigarpig
 


Hypothetically speaking, this should be possible. Similar to the procedure used to develop the HIV vaccine, we would be first required to identify individuals with natural immunity to said infections. Thereafter, we would isolate the specific epitopes that these Human Controllers' immune systems recognize on the pathogen. Such regions would most likely be vital for bacterial survival, less prone to rapid mutation, and thus conserved on an evolutionary scale (i.e. bacterial cell membrane, peptidoglycan layer, pili, etc).

Subsequently, we would isolate and introduce the necessary epitopes into infected individuals and hope that their immune cells become better capable at detecting these regions on the bacteria of interest, enabling them to destroy the pathogens.

However, we have to keep in mind that HIV is a viral ailment, whereas, gonorrhea and staph infections (MRSA) are bacterial infections. At times, our bodies utilize different mechanisms to identify and neutralize bacteria in comparison to viruses. Hopefully, the technique used to develop the HIV vaccine isn't specific for viruses, and could be applied to bacterial infections as well.

Looking at the worst case scenario, Human Controllers' immune system might be targeting the reverse transcriptase (unique to the retrovirus family) in the HIV virus and utilizing that as an identifying marker. If this is the case, we would not be able to use this method to combat bacterial infections (bacteria lack reverse transcriptase). However, at the very least we could be relatively confident that this procedure could be used to fight off other types of retroviruses, including human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) which leads to cancer and Hepatitis B Virus.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by sdcigarpig
 



So if this can cure and end such diseases forever, or give a good means of relief, then by all means. But if there is a chance that said disease can develop an immunity to such, then we should proceed with caution, and care.


You are talking about two different bacterial infections though, what does this have to do with viral infections?



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