Durham, N.C.-based Argos Therapeutics and the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam on Wednesday announced the upcoming human safety tests of an experimental HIV vaccine the groups hope will become the first personalized vaccine to help HIV-positive people avoid developing AIDS, the Raleigh, N.C., News and Observer reports. The vaccine uses genes from HIV extracted from the blood of an HIV-positive person to prod the immune system into recognizing and attacking the specific viral strains affecting that person. Argos officials say the goal of the vaccine is to control HIV infection so that the virus cannot mutate and become resistant to anti-HIV drugs or to the vaccine itself. "What we're trying to do is develop an approach where it's very difficult for the AIDS virus to escape," Argos CEO Clint Dederick told the News and Observer. The human safety trial will begin in the second quarter of 2005 and will include about a dozen Dutch HIV patients.
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