Outstanding news! Just recently, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) was awarded a contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help advance the development of potential AIDS vaccines.

     IAVI is a global, non-profit, public-private partnership that works to accelerate the development of vaccines to prevent HIV and AIDS. The Initiative researches and develops vaccine candidates, conducts policy analyses, serves as an advocate for the HIV prevention field, and engages communities in the trial process and AIDS vaccine education.

     While emphasizing the need for new AIDS prevention tools, IAVI takes a comprehensive approach to HIV and AIDS that supports existing prevention and treatment programs of the virus. And, the initiative works to ensure that future vaccines will be accessible to all who need them.

     The contract earmarks $98 million over seven years. And specifically, IAVI will provide various services to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—part of NIH—in its mission to manufacture HIV envelope protein immunogens that can prevent infection. These immunogens are being developed to induce a protective immune response that wards off HIV. The hope is to manufacture immunogens and then test them in human clinical trials.

     Mark Feinberg, IAVI president and CEO stated, “’IAVI is dedicated to expediting the development and global availability of an effective vaccine, and is committed to supporting the success of the overall efforts of the HIV vaccine field. Building on IAVI’s experience in the characterization and production of HIV envelope vaccine candidates, our efforts to advance the work of NIAID-supported investigators will also provide additional opportunities to develop and share insights and innovations into how to make the HIV vaccine production process as reliable, robust and timely as possible’.”

     Continued Feinberg, “’Given the imperative to accelerate HIV vaccine development efforts, this new partnership with NIAID promises to facilitate meaningful progress and impact towards this goal’.”

     2016 is a banner year for IAVI: it marks two decades that The Initiative has been searching for an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.