The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and its partners have received a five-year cooperative agreement award with a US$160 million ceiling from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The award is part of USAID’s HIV Vaccine and Biomedical Prevention Research Project (HVBP).
Building on long-standing partnerships with USAID and African research centers, this new program to Accelerate the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS Epidemic (ADVANCE) will advance the design and development of HIV vaccines and biomedical prevention tools while ensuring they are effective and accessible for all in need. The new program will increase the impact of research efforts and enhance capacity building and sustainable development in Africa. ADVANCE will increase alignment and synergies, invest in the next generation of researchers and ultimately transfer leadership to African scientists.
Through the ADVANCE Centers of Research Excellence (CORE) network, IAVI will work with eight partners in five African countries, including the Aurum Institute (South Africa), the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative-Institute for Clinical Research, the Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program, Projet San Francisco (Rwanda), the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Human Pathogenesis Programme (South Africa) and the Zambia-Emory HIV Research Project, along with Imperial College London.
ADVANCE will facilitate broader engagement of and strategic collaboration with leading AIDS vaccine researchers and centers of scientific excellence around the world to help speed the development, availability and impact of promising AIDS vaccine candidates and other biomedical prevention innovations to reduce the continuing spread of HIV infection.
“IAVI is delighted to be part of this accomplished international network,” says Anatoli Kamali, Regional Director for Africa at IAVI. “ADVANCE will leverage the expertise of African AIDS vaccine researchers and, through strategic partnerships with key global HIV researchers, help expedite the translation of scientific advances into vaccines and other new prevention products that will help control, and hopefully, one day eliminate HIV/AIDS.”
“The design and testing of improved candidates, guided by African scientific leadership, will move the world closer to a globally-effective HIV vaccine,” says Benny Kottiri, Research Division Chief at USAID. “ADVANCE supports this objective by building vital research capacity in Africa with the intent of resulting in sustainable scientific talent capable of gold-standard clinical research.”
The HVBP award is part of USAID’s HIV/AIDS biomedical research portfolio that prioritizes investments in HIV vaccine and microbicides research and that works to ensure cost-effective, sustainable, and integrated HIV and AIDS programming that harnesses the latest science and technological innovations – all in order to achieve the goal of a world where HIV and AIDS are no longer such a burden on health and development.