The Japanese Government has pledged $10m to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to support AIDS vaccine research and development over the next five years.

The grant will allow further research into an AIDS vaccine candidate based on the Sendai virus, which is expected to enter Phase I testing in humans in two to three years.

Viral vectors based on the Sendai family have shown potential to prompt a durable and highly-targeted immune response in the mucosal tissues, where the spread of HIV most often begins.

Seth Berkley, IAVI president and CEO, said that Japan has the scientific capacity to help advance research for an AIDS vaccine, one of the toughest public health challenges we face today.

IAVI has been working in collaboration with Japan since 2001, leading to the collaborative development of the Sendai virus vector-based AIDS vaccine candidate.

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