Tag: HIV

23 Dec 2016

Gates Foundation to Invest in HIV Prevention Device

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is investing as much as $140 million to support development of a tiny implantable drug pump it believes could help prevent people in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere from becoming infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The matchstick-size pump is being developed by Intarcia Therapeutics Inc., a closely held Boston biotechnology company. It can hold six or 12 months’ supply of medicine and is designed to deliver microdoses continuously to patients, ensuring they stay on the treatment.” as reported by the Wall Street Journal (http://www.wsj.com/)

“If we don’t find a way to prevent infection, we’re going to wind up with more people infected in that part of the world than we have now,” said Emilio Emini, director of the HIV program at the Gates Foundation. But “its real-world effectiveness is much lower than that because you have to take a pill” every day and getting healthy people to do so is difficult, Dr. Emini said. That is what makes Intarcia’s pump so attractive, he said. “You put it in and you forget it,” he said, likening it to long-acting forms of contraception. “You can immediately imagine how it could be applicable.”

Read the full article here : http://www.wsj.com/articles/gates-foundation-to-invest-up-to-140-million-in-hiv-prevention-device-1483023602

01 Aug 2016

Possible advance in AIDS vaccine design

A possible advancement in AIDS Vaccine design by researchers at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has been made. The researchers managed to create artificial nanoparticles (liposomes) which are covered with protein components (trimer spikes) which extend beyond the HIV-1’s outer membrane. The virus normally uses these protein components in order to attach the human cells it will eventually infect.

Thus far the particles have only been used to prompt an immune response in mice and rabbits, with positive results. The particles trigger a specific white blood cell, B cells, which can produce neutralizing antibodies. According to laboratory tests these cells have been able to neutralize a broad spectrum of the multiple variations of the most widespread HIV type, HIV-1.

Although HIV only has about a dozen of these trimer spikes on its surface, the researchers added numerous spikes to the artificial nanoparticles. Richard Wyatt, immunology professor at IAVI’s Neutralizing Antibody Centre at TSRI, as well as the senior author of the study, explains why: “We built the nanoparticle envelope with this many spikes because we thought it would offer a real advantage to trigger a more effective immune response by offering the immune system more binding sites.”

Jidnyasa Ingale, the lead author and Research Associate at TSRI further commented: “It turns out that this was indeed the case. We’ve found that the trimer-liposomes better elicits an immune response than trimers that are not packaged on such particles. This establishes our technique as a potential first step toward a more broadly effective vaccine against HIV.”

For more information on this, please go to: http://www.iavi.org/press-releases/2016/591-new-hiv-mimicking-particles-that-trigger-immune-response-could-advance-aids-vaccine-design

11 Feb 2016


Recent modelling research shows that the development of a HIV/AIDS vaccine would be a vital component to ending the disease.

The study, which focused on low- and middle-income countries, shows that adding a vaccine could significantly reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related fatalities. One analysis example shows that with good uptake, a 70% effective vaccine could reduce new infections by 44% in the first 10 years, and by 65% in 25 years.

The data illustrate how a vaccine could significantly reduce treatment costs and potentially total HIV/AIDS response costs over time. A wide range of product characteristics would contribute to this improvement – higher efficacy, longer-lasting protection, fewer doses, lower vaccine costs and a more effective rollout.

“These new analyses underscore the powerful potential of an AIDS vaccine to help save and improve the lives of millions in a cost-effective manner,” said Mark Feinberg, President and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), which conducted the study in partnership with AVAC and Avenir Health. “It is clear that we must continue to expedite development of an effective HIV vaccine alongside the critical efforts to accelerate and sustain broad and equitable access to effective antiretroviral therapy and new approaches for pre-exposure prophylaxis.”

“Adding a vaccine to a comprehensive HIV/AIDS response will hasten the end of the global epidemic and ensure that it won’t rebound,” said AVAC Executive Director Mitchell Warren. “A safe, effective and affordable AIDS vaccine is an essential complement to the existing treatment and prevention options, and this study highlights why accelerated investments are needed for both implementation of what we have and the development of what we still need.”

For more information on this please go to: https://www.iavi.org/press-releases/2016/570-modeling-shows-a-vaccine-is-essential-to-conclusively-ending-hiv-aids