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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round up of R&D news in brief

G7 vaccines plan

G7 finance ministers have announced a project to subsidise production of new vaccines to fight the spread of fatal illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in the developing world. Italian minister Giulio Tremonti, whose officials drew up the proposals, said the project had won approval at the G7 meeting in London. The first step of the plan is to draw up a pilot project on how to finance research into new vaccines for other diseases such as gastroenteritis, human papillomavirus, or pneumococcus.

Advance in search for cervical cancer vaccine

Scientists have made ground in the search for a cervical cancer vaccine by unravelling the body's immune response to the virus. A study by the University of Birmingham, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that patients able to rid the human papilloma virus (HPV) from their system have a different immune response to those who cannot combat it and subsequently develop cancer. ìWe found that the patients with pre-cancerous lesions most likely to progress to cervical cancer showed less immune activity from a population of immune cells called helper T cells than the women who were at much less risk,î said researcher Dr Jane Steele.

30th September 2008

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