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Calls for Collaboration

Tomorrow, the annual AIDS Vaccine conference kicks off in Atlanta. More than 1,000 researchers are expected to gather to discuss the latest developments in the field.

 

One area of focus seems to be on collaboration. It is a theme of the scientific strategic plan being launched by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and is also one of the main tenets of the new round of grants being issued by the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), an international network launched in 2006 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development of an AIDS vaccine. Tomorrow, a pre-conference satellite session will talk about the recently issued request for proposals for the CAVD.

The aim of this round of CAVD grants is to build on current successes in the field, while also bolstering the pipeline of potential HIV vaccine candidates. The primary goals of the Foundation’s HIV vaccine strategy are to conduct follow-up trials to RV144, the HIV vaccine efficacy trial conducted in Thailand that provided the first evidence of vaccine-induced protection against HIV; discover and develop promising vaccine candidates; and to encourage great collaboration and coordination among HIV vaccine researchers, funders, and advocates.

The HIV vaccine strategies being considered for funding by the CAVD include: HIV vaccines for containment at portal of entry, novel HIV vaccines to elicit protective antibodies, replicating viral vectors for an HIV vaccine, and passive immunization with human monoclonal antibodies for HIV prevention.

The CAVD awards will range from US$500,000 to $3 million per year, per grant, over approximately three years. Additional funding may be awarded to successful projects that are on a clear product development pathway. The grant awards will be made in 2011 and 2012. The CAVD is accepting letters of inquiry, with the first review date for November 1, 2010.

Letters of inquiry for CAVD grants can be submitted through March 31, 2011, and the grants will be awarded from June 2011 through June 2012. For more information on the grants, including a complete timeline of the review process, visit www.cavd.org.