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IAVI – NIH Sign Collaborative Agreement For HIV/AIDS Neutralizing Antibody Consortium

March 29, 2006

New York, March 29, 2006 – The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center (VRC), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to address a major obstacle in AIDS vaccine development: the design of candidate vaccines which can induce antibodies that neutralize a broad range of HIV strains.

IAVI established the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium (NAC) in 2002 as a highly collaborative, interactive and problem-solving scientific consortium. The NAC is comprised of a team of internationally recognized scientists working to speed the search for a preventive AIDS vaccine and to create a new model of collaboration for the field.

The IAVI-NIH collaboration brings into the consortium a group of structural biologists and virologists from the NIAID VRC in a joint research effort. The VRC investigators will provide vital new information on the molecular structure of broadly neutralizing antibodies and how they recognize the virus, which NAC and VRC researchers will then utilize in designing new vaccine candidates.

"This scaled-up consortium now enables a multidisciplinary attack on the major scientific problem impeding AIDS vaccine development," said Wayne Koff, Ph.D., IAVI senior vice-president and chief of vaccine research.

According to Gary J. Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the VRC, the collaborative link between VRC scientists and IAVI’s consortium creates a synergistic program that improves the odds of success in developing an AIDS vaccine.

IAVI’s Research & Development strategy is to form scientific partnerships to accelerate vaccine development through innovative collaborations with organizations in the public and private sectors.

About the NAC
The NAC is made up of leading AIDS researchers from the following institutions: Dennis R. Burton, Ph.D., Scientific Director, and Ian Wilson, D.Phil., D.Sc., The Scripps Research Institute; Robert Doms, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; John P. Moore, Ph.D., Weill Medical College at Cornell University; Joseph Sodroski, M.D., Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Ronald C. Desrosiers, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; David Watkins, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Pascal Poignard, M.D., Ph.D., Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique, Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille; Dr. Ben Davis, Professor Raymond Dwek, FRS and Dr. Quentin Sattentau, the University of Oxford; Ashley T. Haase, M.D., University of Minnesota; Philip R. Johnson, Jr., M.D., The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Robert Johnston Ph.D., Global Vaccines, Inc.; and Louis Picker, M.D., Oregon Health & Science University.

About IAVI
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 23 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates.  IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Starr Foundation; the Governments of the Basque Country, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States; multilateral organizations such as the World Bank; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Continental Airlines, DHL and Pfizer; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Crusaid, Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung, and the Until There's A Cure Foundation; other private donors such as the Haas Charitable Trusts; and many generous individuals from around the world.