NEW YORK, NY — AUGUST 29, 2022 — The Government of Japan announced at the occasion of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) held in Tunisia on August 27 and 28, 2022, its commitment to contribute US$10.5 million to IAVI's VSV-HIV vaccine development program over the next five years.
This funding will focus on studies designed to test potential HIV vaccines delivered intranasally to the mucosal tissue using IAVI’s vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vector technology, with the intent of inducing relevant immune responses at the mucosal surfaces that provide portals of entry used by HIV to establish infection. In addition, this funding will also support efforts to promote collaboration and coordination among global health product development stakeholders. Over the next five years, through these studies, IAVI and its partners aim to show that one or more VSV-HIV vaccines effectively induces an immune response in small animals and has the potential to be advanced to human clinical trials.
“IAVI continues to be extremely grateful for the Government of Japan’s steadfast commitment to ending the AIDS pandemic,” said Mark Feinberg, M.D., Ph.D., IAVI president and CEO. “Japan has been an invaluable partner in HIV vaccine product development for many years and a key leader in supporting global health research. We look forward to advancing these vaccine candidates together.”
“The Government of Japan values its longstanding partnership with IAVI, which reflects Japan’s commitment to ending the AIDS pandemic. Over the years, this partnership not only has contributed to progress in HIV vaccine research, but has also helped to strengthen capacity for pandemic preparedness and response,” said Masato Kanda, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Japan.
The program will also promote collaboration and coordination among global partners, such as Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and others, to share knowledge and resources, accelerate and expand global research and development efforts, and maximize the impact of Japan’s investment. The announcement follows years of leadership from the Government of Japan, which, since 2010, has provided significant investment in IAVI’s viral vector HIV vaccine research beginning with the Japan-originated Sendai virus vector technology. After the Sendai program ended in 2015, Japan continued to support IAVI’s viral-vectored HIV vaccine work leveraging experience and insights from the Sendai program. Japan’s support of the IAVI VSV-HIV vaccine program has also enabled this platform technology to be applied to a wide range of pressing global health threats, including COVID-19.
IAVI is grateful for the longstanding support of the Government of Japan and proud to continue to work together to develop health technologies to combat HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other emerging infectious diseases, and improve the health of communities most impacted by infectious diseases with the goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage.