NEW YORK and HASSELT, BELGIUM, March 19, 2012—The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Complix NV today announced a new collaboration to apply a novel approach to understanding the structure of a critical piece of the HIV Envelope protein complex. This collaboration will help advance the development of HIV vaccine candidates that can generate broadly neutralizing antibodies—molecules capable of neutralizing a broad spectrum of variants of HIV—a key priority in AIDS vaccine development.
“The HIV envelope is one of the most important targets for HIV vaccine development, and determining its structure is critical to designing an effective HIV vaccine,” said Dr. Hansi Dean, IAVI’s Director of New Alliances. “We are excited about our partnership with Complix to advance this important research.”
Dr. Mark Vaeck, CEO of Complix NV adds: “We are very pleased with this collaboration with IAVI, which demonstrates the strength and broad applicability of our Alphabodies™, providing a unique platform for immunogen design, which could create an important step in the development of a novel and broadly effective AIDS vaccine." The Alphabody™ discovery platform applies rational design to generate optimized lead compounds with unrivalled binding affinity to preselected epitopes of functionally important disease targets. Often such crucial target epitopes are difficult or impossible to address with conventional antibody technology or other drug screening platforms.
IAVI’s partnership with Complix, a leading Belgium-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of Alphabodies™*, a novel class of protein therapeutics, enhances its scientific collaborations in Europe, specifically in Belgium, where partnerships exist with GSK Biologicals, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, and the biotechnology company Algonomics.
The collaboration is part of IAVI’s Innovation Fund, a program launched to support the application of novel and unconventional technologies to AIDS vaccine design and development. Targeting primarily small- and medium-sized biotechnology companies, the fund proactively seeks out and finances early-stage ideas and products from innovative scientists and companies to develop an AIDS vaccine that can help solve one of the greatest public health challenges facing the world today.
About Complix NV
Complix NV is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of Alphabodies™, a novel and proprietary class of biopharmaceuticals with exceptional properties that offer significant advantages over existing protein based therapies. Complix's R&D focus is on the development of novel Alphabody™ based therapies for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease, for oncology, and for viral diseases such as influenza, HIV and RSV. For more information about Complix http://www.complix.com
Alphabodies™ display a stability approaching that of small chemicals and the specificity of antibodies. They can bind with high affinity and selectivity to a wide range of disease targets, including targets or target epitopes that are difficult or impossible to address with antibodies or other therapeutic protein classes. Due to their unique stability and versatility Alphabodies™ have the potential to be formulated for non-injectable routes of administration.
About The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
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, IAVI works with partners in 25 countries to research, design and develop AIDS vaccine candidates. In addition, IAVI conducts policy analyses and serves as an advocate for the AIDS vaccine field. IAVI supports a comprehensive approach to addressing HIV and AIDS that balances the expansion and strengthening of existing HIV-prevention and treatment programs with targeted investments in the design and development of new tools to prevent HIV. IAVI is dedicated to ensuring that a future AIDS vaccine will be available and accessible to all who need it. IAVI’s Innovation Fund supports the application of novel and unconventional technologies to AIDS vaccine design and development, and is partially supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. IAVI relies on the generous donations from governments, private individuals, corporations and foundations to carry out its mission. For more information, see www.iavi.org.