Israeli Gov't Strives to Develop AIDS Vaccine

The Israeli government is embarking on an effort to develop an AIDS vaccine using patented biological material in the state’s possession.

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Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 18:35

According to a report in Red Herring, Israel’s Finance Ministry has set up a tender committee to select a scientific institution to charge with the task of developing an AIDS vaccine based on an active pharmaceutical ingredient discovered in Israel several years ago by a team in the Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary Institute.

At the time, researchers working on another project found that the ingredient showed promising results in repairing the immunological system and helping in the fight against AIDS. After animal tests, the researchers claimed the agent protected cells against penetration by the HIV virus, while blocking its propagation.

The Finance Ministry, operating under a new strategy aiming to utilize intellectual property rights held by the Israeli government, wants to promote research on the ingredient to develop an effective drug. The ingredient is registered as property of the Israeli government in both Israel and the United States.

“There is tremendous significance to regulating intellectual property rights in the government sector in order to better utilize the unique patents and assets,” Finance Ministry Accountant General Yaron Zalika told Red Herring, adding that the initiative will hopefully lead to greater foreign investment in Israeli research and development.

Institutions both in Israel and abroad wishing to perform the research and development mission are supposed to apply with the Finance Ministry’s tender committee by October 6th.