GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with France’s Institut Pasteur to develop a new AIDS vaccine made by fusing HIV genes into an existing measles vaccine.

The collaboration will receive funding to the tune of 5.5 million euros from the European Union, and will initially cover the development of a manufacturing process for the vaccine candidate and two clinical trials.

GSK Biologicals, based in Belgium, is licensing the measles vector technology from Institut Pasteur and will jointly develop the vaccine. The measles vaccine, based on the Schwarz strain of the measles virus, is known to confer very long-lasting immunity, and the hope is that using this vaccine as a carrier to deliver HIV proteins will produce a uniquely potent and long-lasting vaccine to prevent AIDS.

The first clinical study will evaluate the safety profile of the vaccine candidate, and the second will examine safety as well as the vaccine’s immunogenicity in volunteers with pre-existing immunity to measles. The trials will begin in the third year of the four to five year collaboration.

Earlier this year, GSK Biologicals announced a collaboration with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to develop an AIDS vaccine using nonhuman primate adenovirus vector technology. The company also has an in-house AIDS vaccine development project using its proprietary adjuvant technology.