African Clinical Testing Site Pink HatA clinician takes a blood sample from a patient at the SWOP clinic, which serves commercial sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo credit: Sokomoto Photography

Over a span of more than 20 years, IAVI, with funding from USAID, built a network of Partner Clinical Research Centers (CRCs) in East and Southern Africa, which were initially focused on HIV vaccine trials with the recognition that a vaccine to prevent HIV must reflect the needs of the communities in countries most affected by the epidemic. To achieve this goal, IAVI built partnerships with in-country research institutions and communities to prepare and conduct vaccine trials in developing countries, where the need for a vaccine is greatest. 

Today, a network of independent yet interconnected centers of excellence in research in five sub-Saharan African countries (Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia), as well as India, play a central role in IAVI’s vaccine development program, testing HIV vaccine candidates and conducting epidemiological studies that provide critical data for vaccine design and inform the conduct of future efficacy trials. As IAVI’s efforts have expanded beyond HIV to include tuberculosis (TB) and emerging infectious diseases (EID), the network is now poised to begin clinical trials of investigational products to also prevent these diseases.

This partnership-based approach emphasizes building capacity by training local researchers and strengthening the infrastructure required for research. Investigators within this network are linked to scientific consortia — such as the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and the Neutralizing Antibody Center — and collaborate closely with IAVI researchers. 

The IAVI Partner CRCs were among the first organizations to conduct Phase I HIV vaccine clinical trials in Africa and India and continue to do so to the highest international standards. The CRCs are led by highly trained principal investigators with the ability to lead clinical trials. IAVI has trained more than 900 scientists with expertise in Good Clinical Practices and Good Clinical Laboratory Practices necessary for conducting clinical trials to the highest standards. Over the years, the CRCs have provided a unique approach to community engagement with various key populations, ensuring community support for vaccine research and development, rapid trial enrollment, and high retention, while at the same time providing access to services for at-risk populations. 

IAVI’s Clinical Research Center Partners

Aurum Institute
Rustenburg, South Africa  

Center for Family Health Research (CFHR)
Kigali, Rwanda

Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF)
Cape Town, South Africa

KAVI-Institute for Clinical Research  (KAVI-ICR)
Nairobi, Kenya (Kenyatta National Hospital and Kangemi)  

Kenya Medical Research Institute-Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast  (KEMRI-CGMRC)
Kilifi and Mtwapa, Kenya  

Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute Uganda/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit on AIDS  (MRC/UVRI/LSHTM)
Headquarters at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe and field stations in Masaka and Kampala

National AIDS Research Institute (NARI)
Pune, Maharashtra, India

National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Rwanda Zambia Health Research Group (RZHRG)
Lusaka and Ndola, Zambia

Uganda Virus Research Institute-International AIDS Vaccine Initiative HIV Vaccine Program  (UVRI-IAVI)
Entebbe, Uganda, at the Uganda Virus Research Institute

University of KwaZulu-Natal HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP)
Durban, South Africa

YR Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE)
Taramani, Chennai, India

 

Map of IAVI CRC Partners in Africa

IAVI CRC Partners Africa

 

IAVI’s Global Clinical Trial Footprint

Below is a map of IAVI’s extensive stakeholder network in TB, HIV, and EID endemic countries. IAVI acquired the assets of Aeras in October 2018. The Aeras team brought with them extensive experience in conducting early through late stage TB vaccine trials across the globe.

CRC world map