The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has been awarded a new contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expedite the development of promising AIDS vaccine candidates.
Under the contract, IAVI will provide a range of product development services to advance the characterization and manufacturing of HIV envelope protein immunogens designed by NIAID-supported scientists. The agreement provides for funding in an amount up to $98 million during 7-year period.
HIV envelope protein immunogens are being developed in an effort to induce a broad and effective protective immune response to help prevent HIV infection. Manufacturing of these immunogens so that they can be evaluated in human clinical trials has proved challenging given the complexity and instability of the HIV envelope proteins.
Translating promising research concepts from the laboratory into vaccine candidates that can be evaluated for safety and the ability to elicit targeted immune responses in human clinical studies represents a major obstacle facing many researchers working on envelope immunogens globally. Optimizing HIV vaccine manufacturing processes should help to expedite the development and evaluation of promising vaccine candidates across the entire field.
“We are very pleased to expand the provision of vaccine product development expertise to support NIAID-sponsored AIDS vaccine programmes,” IAVI President and CEO Mark Feinberg said. “NIAID is the largest funder of HIV vaccine research worldwide, and IAVI welcomes the opportunity to work with them to help advance their efforts and those of the numerous outstanding researchers they support.”
“IAVI is dedicated to expediting the development and global availability of an effective HIV vaccine, and is committed to supporting the success of the overall efforts of the HIV vaccine field. Building on IAVI’s experience in the characterization and production of HIV envelope vaccine candidates, our efforts to advance the work of NIAID-supported investigators will also provide additional opportunities to develop and share insights and innovations into how to make the HIV vaccine production process as reliable, robust and timely as possible. Given the imperative to accelerate HIV vaccine development efforts, this new partnership with NIAID promises to facilitate meaningful progress and impact towards this goal,” he added.
IAVI and NIAID have been partnering closely in AIDS vaccine research for many years, including in the design and development of HIV envelope immunogens to elicit broadly protective antibody responses.