IAVI, NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center Form Consortium to Investigate HIV Neutralizing Antibodies, Speed Vaccine Development
Officials from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative yesterday announced they have formed a five-year consortium to focus on finding ways of stimulating the body to produce HIV "neutralizing antibodies," Reuters Health reports. IAVI will work with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a vaccine using the antibody knowledge gained from the study (Mitchell, Reuters Health, 7/9). Neutralizing antibodies "recognize the human immunodeficiency virus as soon as it enters the body and tag it for destruction," the Agence France Presse/Globe and Mail reports. IAVI President Seth Berkley said, "We believe this is a solvable problem. Broadly neutralizing antibodies that block HIV have been isolated from a few, rare humans. We just do not yet know what it takes to get the body to make them" (Ingham, Agence France Presse/Globe and Mail, 7/10). IAVI spokesperson Victor Zonana added, "It's a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment. Basically, IAVI is contributing the financial resources and the project management skills. [W]e have at our disposal $126.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" (Reuters Health, 7/9). Additional funding will come from "Western governments ... and other philanthropists" (Agence France Presse/Globe and Mail, 7/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.