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Friday, 20 October, 2000, 19:54 GMT
Truce over Aids vaccine row
Lab work
Trials of the vaccine have started
By Cathy Jenkins in Nairobi

British and Kenyan scientists have settled an argument over the patenting of a vaccine for HIV, which both sides have been working on together.

The Kenyans had accused the British team of taking out a patent without their knowledge and without naming them.

The British team, based at Oxford University, admitted it had made a mistake in not informing its Kenyan colleagues.

After two full days of talks, they agreed to set up a technical task force consisting of intellectual property experts to see how the Kenyans can be included in the patent already filed.

The scientists have been working on a joint project based on research which appears to show that prostitutes working in Nairobi slums have developed an immunity to HIV aids despite constant exposure.

Oxford University based scientist, Andrew McMichael, admitted the British team had made a mistake in not informing the Kenyans immediately that they had filed a patent relating to the HIV vaccine.

Mr McMichael said that the creation of a task force of patent experts would help avoid misunderstandings in the future.

The task force, which he said will be set up as soon as possible, could decide that the Kenyan team should be named in the patent application after all.

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See also:

31 Aug 00 | Health
MP tests Aids vaccine
26 Jan 00 | Health
Prostitutes lose HIV immunity
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