WASHINGTON – March 21, 2006 – Quintiles Transnational Corp., the world's leading pharmaceutical services organization, today announced it has donated $100,000 to the Seattle Vaccine Research Fund (SVRF) to support anti- retroviral treatment for HIV vaccine trial participants who become infected during vaccine studies.
The recently formed Seattle Vaccine Research Fund was established to ensure access to treatment for individuals who volunteer in an HIV vaccine trial and who become infected with the virus through their behavior. The fund will pay for anti-retroviral treatment if the study participant's country does not have a treatment program in place.
"Our decision to support the vaccine fund evolved quite naturally," said Oren Cohen, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Quintiles Transnational Corp. "All of us at Quintiles are committed to advancing public health solutions by using our experience and expertise to help address the growing public health challenges the world is facing.
"One of the greatest challenges we face today is development of a vaccine to prevent HIV. Because advancing vaccine research requires human volunteers, we believe that we have an ethical responsibility to support access to HIV treatment."
In 2003, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network announced that participants who become infected during the trial will receive long-term anti-retroviral treatment.
The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is the largest clinical trials program devoted to the development and testing of preventive HIV vaccines worldwide. The Network's HIV Vaccine Trial Units are located at leading research institutions in 27 cities on four continents. HVTN is funded and supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). By Congressional statute, NIH research funds cannot be used to pay for treatment that is not the specific focus of research. The Seattle Vaccine Research Fund was established to fill this gap -- to provide therapy using donations from other sources to ensure that infected volunteers have access to treatment.
"While there is no way to contract HIV or AIDS from the vaccine, we believe we have a moral responsibility to help those who have agreed to participate in the vaccine trials who might later need treatment," said Larry Corey, principal investigator of the HVTN and president of the Seattle Vaccine Research Fund. "We are very grateful to Quintiles for their support of this important endeavor."
Quintiles is the global leader in pharmaceutical services, improving healthcare worldwide by providing innovative, quality professional expertise, market intelligence and partnering solutions to meet the dynamic needs of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and healthcare industries. Quintiles has 16,000 specialized employees and offices in 50 countries. For more information visit the company's Web site at www.quintiles.com.
About the Seattle Vaccine Research Fund
The Seattle Vaccine Research Fund is based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. The SVRF Board of Directors includes Dr. Larry Corey; Dr. Judith Wasserheit, Director of the HVTN; Ms. Myra Tanita, COO of the Hutchinson Center; Mr. Henry Warden, Vice President, Strategic Development and Planning at the Hutchinson Center; as well as two members of The Hutchinson Center Board of Directors: Mssrs. Chuck Hirsch and Scott Wilson.
Dr. Cohen is clinical professor of medicine on the Infectious Diseases faculty at the George Washington University Medical Center. He completed his fellowship in infectious diseases in 1994 at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and spent seven years conducting basic and clinical HIV/AIDS research in the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In addition, he has published more than 50 scientific papers and chapters, served as NIAID assistant director for medical affairs and co-authored the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Guidelines on Antiretroviral Therapy.