A team of global experts in the HIV vaccine field has devised a coordinated plan to speed the development of a safe and effective vaccine for the virus.
This five-year strategy is the brainchild of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, which falls under the aegis of the International AIDS Society (IAS). The authors unveiled their new report at the HIV Research for Prevention conference in Madrid.
“While the HIV vaccine landscape offers greater scientific promise than ever before, the field also faces real challenges in terms of aligning scientific priorities, developing the smartest and most effective research studies, maintaining funding and engaging and maximizing the contributions of all global stakeholders in the search for a vaccine,” IAS president Anton Pozniak, MD, said in a press release.
Key goals outlined in the plan include: speeding the research pipeline by optimizing the development of experimental HIV vaccines; developing a plan for how best to translate a successful vaccine trial into action, yielding a widely available vaccine; and keeping the research ball rolling by recruiting financial and brainpower resources from a diverse field.
The plan also addresses how the increasing availability of HIV prevention methods such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) may complicate the study designs of vaccine candidates. Critically, the report examines major gaps in scientific knowledge about immune responses to the virus.
Quite problematically, global funding for the HIV cause is stagnant and donor fatigue threatens continued progress in combating the epidemic, the report notes, as such efforts call for greater governmental and industry-based financial investment.
Of course, no successful vaccine can have an impact on the epidemic if it fails to gain regulatory approval, so to that end, the report addresses uncertainties about both the means of achieving such approval as well as providing widespread access to an approved vaccine.
To read the plan, click here.
To read a press release about the plan, click here.