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HIV Vaccine Research and Development

The UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program, in partnership with IAVI, continues to build its research capacity in order to prepare for future vaccine efficacy trials. The R&D program at the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine program conducted the following activities in 2009:

  • Participation in the Gates Foundation-funded Consortium for AIDS Vaccine Development (CAVD)
  • Research to inform vaccine design and clinical trial design
  • Participation in the Canada Africa Prevention Trials Network (CAPTN)
  • Conduct of an EDCTP funded research project which aims to build capacity for the conduct of HIV vaccine research and to identify potential research populations

The objective of the R&D program is to support the acceleration of AIDS vaccine research and development and to inform global efforts that will improve the vaccine product development pipeline.
‘Long Term Follow Up' study: Volunteers from previous vaccine trials are offered enrollment to this study that collects data annually from former study participants of IAVI-sponsored clinical trials on their current general health status. The data collected will provide additional information about the long-term safety associated with the use of these products and participation in vaccine trials.
Consortium for AIDS Vaccine Development
The UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program has been designated a central laboratory for T-cell immune testing in this global consortium. Of the four central labs in the consortium, the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program is the only one outside of Europe and North America.
The UVRI-IAVI lab was the first lab in Africa to attain Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) accreditation from the British Accreditation Company, Qualogy in 2006. This meant that the lab was found to be working under international standards while carrying out HIV Vaccine Clinical trials. In 2007, this lab was selected as one of only four central labs all over the world, two in the US and the other in Europe to operate under the Comprehensive T Cell Vaccine Immune Monitoring Consortium, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
All four central labs will work to standardize and validate assays of vaccine-induced T cell responses. This means that blood samples will be processed and analyzed in the same way regardless of the site that receives the samples. This is critical for assembling a validated database consistent across multiple clinical sites. There are two assays currently being used worldwide in HIV Vaccine Clinical trials to assess whether or not the vaccines being tested are immunogenic. These are the Elispot assay and the Intracellular Cytokine assay which uses flow cytometry. Being one of the central labs, the UVRI-IAVI lab acquired the LSRII to execute the Intracellular Cytokine Assay and we are hoping to enter into exciting new research collaborations which will benefit from this new capacity.