The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise has launched a five-year strategy to speed up the development of an effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection.
The Enterprise, hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), unveiled its strategic plan in Madrid, Spain at the start of the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018), the only scientific conference dedicated exclusive to biomedical HIV prevention.
“This strategy presents an opportunity to address some of the most significant challenges in HIV vaccine development today,” IAS President Anton Pozniak said.
The new strategy recommends a series of steps to “propel the vaccine pipeline” by strategies to “align, amplify and accelerate development” of candidate vaccines.
The steps will also include clarifying a roadmap for future access to a vaccine when it is successful.
A third step is to expand resources and engagement to support and contribute to the field of HIV vaccine search.
“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,” Pozniak added.
Several large scale vaccine efficacy studies are underway but the new strategies consider major challenges which confront an HIV vaccine.
Among them, as research throws up more options to prevent HIV infection, it becomes increasingly complex to conduct efficacy trials for an HIV vaccine.
Secondly, scientific knowledge about immune responses to HIV infection is faced with critical gaps.
In addition, funding and investment in HIV vaccine research is in short supply, and uncertainty exists about pathways to regulate and access a successful vaccine.