Canadian meeting of HIV vaccine developers highlights the importance of
WINNIPEG, May 17, 2013 /CNW/ - HIV vaccine development is gaining
momentum due in part to the identification of broadly neutralizing
antibodies that could stop the virus from entering and infecting
healthy cells, and from the results of the RV 144 HIV vaccine trial
which showed over 30 per cent vaccine efficacy. These recent
discoveries have renewed interest in the development of preventative
vaccines for HIV.
But moving vaccines from the lab to the clinic isn't easy.
Getting potential vaccines to the clinical stages and the important role
of industry in this process was the subject of the Canadian HIV Vaccine
Initiative (CHVI) Research and Development Alliance Coordinating
Office's (ACO) annual meeting, held last month in Vancouver, B.C.
"Over the course of the event we heard that the next few years will see
a number of trials of candidate HIV vaccines move ahead in the
pipeline. Several innovations and technologies are beginning to mature,
and with this, the products and associated benefits are emerging, but
there are still a number of barriers to overcome," says ACO Director
Dr. Greg Hammond.
The ACO annual meeting was broadly structured into three main themes -
understanding needs; sharing information and knowledge; and building
collaborations. Among the 20 speakers were Canadian and international
researchers, and industry and community-based representatives who
outlined challenges, available resources, and future considerations in
HIV vaccine development.
"Throughout the meeting, the importance of collaborations was
highlighted because they provide expertise, funding and resources for
projects. In the absence of collaboration, the development of HIV
vaccine candidates is hindered," Hammond says.
A report on the meeting will be released on the ACO website (alliance-aco.ca) in the near future. Key points raised include the following:
More work is needed to foster smaller companies that are developing
vaccines and to support technologies that will allow for successful
clinical trials and availability of an HIV vaccine.
There is a need to establish working relationships and facilitate
communication between industry and community.
All vaccine efforts should engage early with those in broader
communities who are affected by HIV. This would help keep people
informed and involved so that vaccines are understood and supported in
the long term.
More than 75 people including researchers, industry, government, and
community-based representatives attended the ACO annual meeting.
The CHVI is Canada's contribution to the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.
It is a five-year collaborative initiative between the Government of
Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and represents a
significant Canadian contribution to global efforts to develop a safe,
effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccine. The ACO was
established by the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation in November 2011 at the International Centre for Infectious
Diseases (ICID), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization based
in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The ACO is funded by the Public Health Agency of
HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is an annual observance to recognize and thank
volunteers, community members, health professionals, and scientists who
are working together to find a safe and effective HIV vaccine. It is
also a day to educate communities about the importance of preventive
HIV vaccine research.
SOURCE: Alliance Coordinating Office
For further information:
Communications Specialist, Alliance Coordinating Office
International Centre for Infectious Diseases