IAVI, CHAVI Join To Collaborate on HIV Vaccine Research
Researchers at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology at Duke University announced Tuesday that they are partnering to address the major biological questions that have undermined the development of a safe, effective and affordable HIV vaccine, Raleigh News & Observer reports.
NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 2005 announced funding to establish CHAVI, a consortium of 70 investigators at 37 universities and medical centers that work together to develop an HIV vaccine. IAVI, which focuses on global HIV vaccine development, was established in 1996 and is funded by businesses, foundations, individual donors, governments and not-for-profit groups.
According to the News & Observer, CHAVI and IAVI researchers plan to focus on four key areas:
- Identifying genetic sequencing of new HIV viruses;
- Determining how genetic factors control HIV infection;
- Examining the possible reasons why some people who are exposed to HIV do not progress to AIDS; and
- Developing standard methods for sampling the tissue where HIV enters the body (Avery, Raleigh News & Observer, 4/16).
According to a CHAVI release, the researchers are interested in the earliest post-infection stage of HIV, particularly what occurs within the CD4+ T cells. CHAVI and IAVI said they hope that they will be able to accelerate the development of an HIV vaccine by sharing technologies, samples and other resources and by conducting parallel studies, the release said (CHAVI release, 4/15).
"Solving the HIV vaccine puzzle is a scientific challenge that can only be solved through fundamental and applied research, collaboration and transparency," Barton Haynes, CHAVI director and professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center, said in a statement. "The work that will be done by IAVI, CHAVI and their networks of partners will rapidly enhance our understanding of HIV and help lay the groundwork for new vaccine approaches," he added.
"We are committed to the discovery of an effective vaccine, particularly for regions hardest hit by the epidemic," Wayne Koff, senior vice president of research and development at IAVI, said, adding, "We are hoping that the synergy of shared investigation will yield insight into novel solutions that will advance AIDS vaccine discovery" (IAVI release, 4/15). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.