For more than 20 years, IAVI and its global network of partners have been working to ensure the development of an HIV vaccine. This work remains as important today as ever. In 2017, nearly 2 million people were infected with HIV, according to the latest data from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. This stubbornly high infection rate continues, with approximately 2 million new infections occurring every year since 2005, despite tremendous progress in providing those already infected with life-saving antiretroviral treatment. Even worse, experts warn that without significant progress in reducing new HIV infections, the HIV/AIDS epidemic will likely worsen as the largest generation of young people enters the age at which they are at highest risk of infection. We need new ways to stop the spread of HIV, and chief among these is a vaccine.
Developing an HIV vaccine will require pioneering science, innovative partnerships, and a steadfast focus on the populations in which the disease burden is the highest.
IAVI’s HIV research and development programs focus on three main strategies: the design of vaccine immunogens capable of inducing highly specialized proteins known as broadly neutralizing antibodies, the optimization and development of these antibodies as prevention products, and the development of replicating viral vectors and mRNA as a way to deliver vaccine immunogens and induce persistent immune responses.
IAVI and its partners are also applying their scientific, technological, and clinical expertise in vaccine and antibody development to address other unmet global health needs.
Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies
Scientists widely agree that an ideal HIV vaccine will need to induce highly specialized proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies. These antibodies can stand up to the extreme genetic diversity of HIV and block many different viral variants from establishing infection.
IAVI scientists and their network of collaborators are exploring two main strategies for designing vaccine immunogens to stimulate the production of broadly neutralizing antibodies based on detailed structural models of both HIV and the antibodies that can effectively bind to the virus.
Viral Vectors and mRNA
Another research initiative at IAVI is the development of methods to deliver vaccine immunogens to induce persistent immune responses. Two approaches are currently in preclinical development by IAVI and its partners.
IAVI and its partners are contributing to the clinical development of TB vaccine candidates at a pivotal moment in the decades-long battle against the world's deadliest infectious disease.
Prevention for Other Diseases
In addition to our core HIV vaccine effort, IAVI and its partners are addressing urgent unmet public health needs for which our existing technologies, assets, and experience add unique value.