July 2014

AIDS 2014 preview, funding updates, and more...

 


Newsletter Masthead July 2014
 
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AIDS 2014 Programme-at-a-Glance, including a Vaccines Roadmap

Gathering to Ensure No One is Left Behind in HIV Prevention R&D
IAVI is once again proud to join the world’s most distinguished experts in HIV/AIDS research, advocacy and community engagement at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne between 20 and 25 July. This conference provides a great opportunity to meet face-to-face across disciplines and specializations, to take stock of where we all stand and to individually and collectively step up the pace in the global effort to end HIV/AIDS once and for all. This challenging virus continues to infect and kill millions of people and take its biggest toll among the world's most vulnerable people and communities. Yet there are many bright spots on the treatment and prevention horizons, and we look forward to sharing results and perspectives and identifying new common ground on which to build.

There have been exciting recent developments in the quest for a safe, effective, accessible, preventive AIDS vaccine for use throughout the world (click here to read more). IAVI is committed to accelerating this research by:

  • Leveraging a network of clinical research centers and product development capabilities to design and develop AIDS vaccines;
  • Discovering and developing vaccines that elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV; and
  • Developing replicating viral vectors that can safely deliver a vaccine in a way that maximizes efficacy and duration of protection.

We look forward to a rich and educational conference experience, and to sharing with you the information and insights we obtain.
 

Connecting Prevention Research and Development to the
People Who Need it Most Prince

Even the best treatment and prevention options can only work if they are accessible to, and properly utilized by, the people who need them most. Research has found that the very groups of people who suffer most from HIV/AIDS in Asia and Africa have limited engagement in HIV/AIDS research and development, and access and adherence to the treatment and prevention options that this R&D has produced to date. Implementation of guidelines developed in 2012 to facilitate partnerships between researchers and these “key populations” remains spotty – yet this very engagement is critical to ensuring that new tools are put into use so they can work.

At AIDS 2014, IAVI, The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and John Hopkins University are hosting a participatory workshop for scientists, advocates and representatives of key populations to share case studies and lessons learned, and to outline the skills, systems and networks still needed for effective and sustained partnership – particularly in today’s very concerning rights-constrained settings. The workshop, Mind the Gap - Improving Partnerships Between Scientific Communities and Key Populations in HIV Prevention Research will be held 24 July, 11:00am-12:30pm (more information here). If you're in Melbourne, please join us! We look forward to briefing you on the outcomes and resulting progress in the months to come.

International Economic AIDS Network Pre-Conference: Arne Naeveke
Exploring Impact and Preferred Product Characteristics
of an AIDS Vaccine
 
 
Despite major advances in treatment and prevention, 2.3 million people still contracted HIV in 2012 and 1.6 million people died. Infection rates are still rising in certain regions and populations, and new infections continue to outpace treatment scale-up: For every three people put on treatment, four others contract HIV. Half of people living with HIV worldwide, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa where the epidemic is most profound, don't even know they have it. And even the best-case scenario for maximizing existing treatment and prevention foresees at least 500,000 new infections a year in low- and middle-income countries come 2050. A well rolled-out, 60%-efficacious vaccine could further reduce new infections by 25 percent in its first decade and by almost half in 25 years, according to preliminary results for modeling studies by UNAIDS, AVAC and IAVI that we will be presented during this session. The studies also look at vaccine efficacy, duration of protection and cost-effectiveness, characteristics of likely importance to policy makers when addressing access to potential AIDS vaccination as part of public health programs. This session will take place 19 July, 9:55am-11:10am at the Crown Plaza, Melbourne.

Also of Note:

Satellite Session: "HIV/AIDS and Youth – Presenting Biomedical, Behavioral and Structural Interventions that Work" Click here for more details...

Plenary Session: "Stepping up the Pace: Making the Long Term Short Term" Click here for more details...

 

OTHER NEWS

World Health AssemblyWorld Health Assembly: The Role of
Health Research and Innovation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Together with the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED), the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Global Health Council (GHC), and sponsored by the UN Member States Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Senegal and the UK, IAVI organized a side event at the World Health Assembly in Geneva (22 May) on the critical role of research and innovation for sustainable development. Speakers included health ministers and leaders from the World Health Organization and industry, with a keynote by GAVI CEO Seth Berkley. The more than 100 guests included senior delegates from country missions and international organizations.

Participants urged UN Member States and WHA delegates to support health research, policies and capacity building as core components of a post-2015 agenda. Interested in supporting the cause? Add your organization's name to an appeal to the UN Secretary-General and Member States focused to include health research and innovation in the post-2015 agenda.

 

World AIDS Vaccine Day 2014 WAVD
IAVI worked closely with many government and civil-society partners to leverage this annual opportunity to raise awareness about the world's urgent need for an AIDS vaccine. Shared messaging and tools helped us all drive an expanded dialogue that clearly focused on the crucial role of AIDS vaccine R&D in advancing global health, and reached many key and new audiences through conversations on Facebook and Twitter, individual
and joint public statements, video messagesand profiles of the people who will benefit most from an AIDS vaccine, and events that ranged from a high-level briefing in Denmark, to a youth gathering in Norway, to a partner dinner in India. In Uganda, UVRI-IAVI gathered local officials on a remote Lake Victoria island to raise awareness of the challenges of daily life in fishing communities and how AIDS vaccine research could impact these communities.

 

IAVI Congratulates Board Member Lord Fowler on his
Powerful New Book
Aids: Don't Die of Prejudice
Discrimination, ignorance and inequality continue to drive the deadly HIV/AIDS epidemic around the world, and an AIDS vaccine will be transformative for overcoming these barriers to equitable healthcare, according to an important new book by Lord Fowler, former UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Security and a member of the IAVI Board of Directors.

Aids: Don't Die of Prejudice illustrates the huge toll that this global killer continues to take on the world; the role of ignorance, discrimination and inequality; and the heroic work being done to rid the world of HIV/AIDS once and for all,” said IAVI President & CEO Margie McGlynn. “Lord Fowler is a powerful global advocate for the individuals and communities who bear the brunt of this epidemic. We congratulate him on this important and informative book.”

As Secretary of State for Health and Social Security under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Lord Fowler helped launch the country’s first AIDS awareness drive, the “Don’t Die of Ignorance” campaign. He is currently vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS, an ambassador for the National AIDS Trust, and a patron of the British HIV Association and the Terrence Higgins Trust. He joined IAVI’s Board of Directors in December 2013.

 
FUNDING UPDATE

New "Mission-Driven" Funding for IAVI 
IAVI received several unrestricted grants from US-based foundations that will help cover the organization’s core expenses and help us to act quickly to support the innovation essential for following scientific leads and leveraging access to larger funding opportunities. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS increased their annual grant, VWR Foundation renewed their funding, and the Keith Haring Foundation has made a first-time grant.

 
REPORTING ON THE FIELD

Check out the latest edition of IAVI Report IAVI Report
Read about the cost of manufacturing antibodies, the skyrocketing rates of HIV among black men who have sex with men, and the Full Group Meeting of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network; plus a Q&A with Larry Corey, former president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Read more...

 
RECENT PUBLICATIONS FROM IAVI AND PARTNERS

Selection Bias at the Heterosexual HIV-1 Transmission Bottleneck — Science  
Researchers have tested a central hypothesis that founder virus selection is biased toward certain genetic characteristics. Read more…

Structural Delineation of a Quaternary, Cleavage-Dependent Epitope at the gp41-gp120 Interface on Intact HIV-1 Env Trimers — Immunity  
All previously characterized broadly neutralizing antibodies to the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) target one of four major sites of vulnerability. Researchers define and structurally characterize a unique epitope on Env that is recognized by a recently discovered family of human monoclonal antibodies (PGT151–PGT158). Read more…

Broadly Neutralizing HIV Antibodies Define a Glycan-Dependent Epitope on the Prefusion Conformation of gp41 on Cleaved Envelope Trimers — Immunity  
Researchers describe a set of human monoclonal antibodies that define what is, to the best of our knowledge, a previously undefined target on HIV Env. Read more…

Promiscuous Glycan Site Recognition by Antibodies to the High-Mannose Patch of gp120 Broadens Neutralization of HIV — Science Translational Medicine  
Sugar can be quite tempting—as anyone who's seen a kid rip into birthday cake can attest. Yet, antibodies can also have a sweet tooth, targeting glycan modifications on the surface of proteins. Indeed, some antibodies that neutralize multiple HIV strains—broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnmAbs)—target a high-mannose patch on the HIV protein Env. Read more…

Toward a Human Vaccines Project — Nature Immunology 
Technological advances in antigen discovery, genomics and immunological monitoring offer tremendous potential for revolutionizing vaccine development. On 5–6 February 2014, 35 leading vaccine scientists met to consider how best to harness these advances and spur innovation. Read more…


 

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