Univax Biologics Inc. on Monday said it has entered into aCooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to develop arecombinant AIDS vaccine.

Under the agreement, Walter Reed owns the patent rights tothe vaccine and granted Univax of Rockville, Md., an exclusivelicense to develop and market it. Univax will manufacture thevaccine and Walter Reed will be responsible for preclinical andhuman trials. Privately held Univax will pay sales royalties toWalter Reed.

The vaccine consists of neutralizing antibodies directed atconserved regions of the gp160 protein of the HIV-1 envelope.

Results of animal tests of the vaccine in preventing SimianImmunodeficiency Virus were published in the August issue ofthe Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Rhesusmonkeys vaccinated with a mix of four envelope peptides fromgp160 produced virus-neutralizing and peptide-specificantibodies. The SIV peptides are similar to correspondingregions of HIV-1.

The article said it remains to be seen whether the vaccine-induced protection prevents or only delays the onset ondisease.

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