Today, the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, one of the co-organizers of the AIDS Vaccine 2010 conference, convened a special session to discuss their new scientific strategic plan, which outlines the anticipated challenges and opportunities in AIDS vaccine research over the next five years (Nature Medicine 16, 981, 2010).
It wasn’t that long ago that the humoral immunity sessions at the annual AIDS Vaccine conference were more sparsely attended than the sessions focused on T cells. But at this year’s conference, antibodies seem to be the draw. The speculation by many researchers that the results of the RV144 trial in Thailand—the first to show vaccine-induced protection against HIV infection—were likely antibody related, along with the isolation of several new, and in some cases more potent, broadly neutralizing antibodies (more of which are expected to be described here this week) has catapulted these proteins back to prominence.
On the heels of the encouraging results from the CAPRISA 004 trial, the first to provide show a statistically significant efficacy for any microbicide candidate, news began percolating in Atlanta about plans to launch a confirmatory trial early next year to see if the results of CAPRISA 004 can be duplicated.
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.
This week, the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) unveiled plans for the second iteration of the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), a virtual research consortium established five years ago by NIAID to coordinate research and promote big science efforts to overcome key immunological roadblocks to HIV vaccine development. The original CHAVI received a whopping US$300 million over seven years, ending in 2012. NIAID says a new request for applications (RFA) for the second generation CHAVI should be formally announced within six to eight months. Details of the plans for the new CHAVI RFA were provided by Stuart Shapiro, the NIAID Program Officer Team Leader for CHAVI, at the AIDS Research Advisory Council meeting on September 20 in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee (AVRS) meeting the following day in Rockville, Maryland.
You need not look further than the headlines today for the biggest news to emerge from the International AIDS Conference in Vienna. For the first time, a microbicide candidate was shown to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV in women. The candidate, a 1% gel formulation of the antiretroviral tenofovir, reduced the risk of HIV infection by 39% in a South African trial known as CAPRISA 004, which involved 889 women.
Welcome to the IAVI Report blog, kicking off at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna.