Over the past half century, hundreds of millions of doses of “killed-virus” vaccines have protected people from deadly diseases such as polio, influenza, and rabies. It is one of history's most established methods for producing safe, effective vaccines.
Incredibly, it hasn't been tested for HIV/AIDS.
A philanthropist with the right mix of courage and common sense can change that.
Hear the story:
Given the devastation that HIV/AIDS has caused around the globe for over 30 years, it is difficult to grasp how one of the best-established vaccine methods has been omitted from the entire AIDS research agenda. The short answer is that killed-virus vaccines have simply slipped through the cracks between the primary entities engaged in HIV vaccine research.
Biotech companies have seen no profit potential in vaccines based on old-fashioned public sector technology. For their part, academic scientists can get no support for product development based on “old” science as opposed to seeking innovative methods based on new scientific understanding. And the few practical vaccinologists interested in classical methods have never been able to obtain significant funding for killed-virus vaccine development from any of the traditional sources.
So while it never has been anyone’s explicit policy to omit one of the most historically-successful vaccine methods for HIV/AIDS, in effect, that has been the outcome.
3-Minute Version (Full video here)
A small but determined group of vaccine and public health experts have persisted over countless years in their efforts to advocate for the killed-virus approach. To date, that advocacy has largely occurred using traditional methods, directed towards traditional entities.
Recently, however, we have assembled an effort to pursue an entirely new opportunity — namely the support of individual philanthropists with enough resources to fund the project, enough backbone to stand up to potential naysayers, and enough common sense to understand that such a straightforward and well-understood solution deserves its day in the laboratory.
While the cost for this project (roughly $5M/year x 3 years) would certainly represent a substantial philanthropic investment, that amount pales in comparison to the amount being spent on other current HIV vaccine research with far less realistic prospects for near-term success. More importantly, it represents the very real potential to cost-effectively save tens of millions of lives worldwide, within a handful of years.
Indeed, this situation calls for a visionary philanthropic hero — one whose investment can quite literally change the course of history. We know that person is out there. Our task is to bring this remarkable story to that person’s ears.
I created this website and the videos on it in order to tell an amazing story about one of the great untapped opportunities in the HIV/AIDS vaccine effort -- a killed-virus vaccine -- and to help find a funder with the vision and common sense to make it happen. Read more...