Last week took place in Barcelona a Global Congress on AIDS vaccine, AIDS Vaccine 2013. This is possible because Catalonia has a large critical mass of researchers who do quality research in this area. In recent days the media have been debating about it, because this vaccine is one of the greatest challenges of modern biomedicine.
AIDS Vaccine 2013 is organized by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and the HIVACAT Program for HIV vaccine research, of this year’s local organizer. HIVACAT is an unprecedented public-private consortium , located in Barcelona, formed by the two largest HIV / AIDS research centers in Catalonia, the IrsiCaixa Institute for Research on AIDS and the Infectious Diseases and AIDS IDIBAPS / Hospital Clinic of Barcelona team, in collaboration with Esteve and supported by Obra Social “La Caixa”, the Government of Catalonia and the Clínic Foundation.
The message these days was that, even though the HIVACAT program funding remains intact thanks to its scientific quality and the commitment of its donors , more investment is needed to remain competitive internationally and finally defeat the disease. A minimum of 4 million Euros would allow the first steps towards a clinical trial featuring some of the recent discoveries made by scientists Catalans. An extra effort is necessary to take the leap between excellence and success.
Probably this is a reality that an independent Catalonia would have to face. We have a solid base but we must redouble our efforts to change the current trends in research funding. The wealth of a country is also measured in terms of scientific production, in biomedicine and in any other field, and its ability to transfer this knowledge to the market. We must work hard as a country to grant success in the quest of a AIDS vaccine and to reinforce research and innovation in the broadest sense.
Listen to the Congress Opening Press Conference at: www.aidsvaxwebcasts.org
Listen to Dr. Gatell, from IDIBAPS-Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and co- director of HIVACAT, at TV3 program Els Matins (In Catalan):
Listen to Dr . Bonaventura Clotet from IrsiCaixa and co-director of HIVACAT in TVE program Los Deseayunos (from minute 40) (in Spanish):
View interviews with the Congress organizers by Barcelona Press Room: