Ottawa, ON – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Canada’s federal government have committed major new funding to support the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative, a new effort to accelerate the development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and address critical research gaps identified by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.
The Gates Foundation will provide up to $28 million to the initiative, and the federal government is contributing up to $111 million. The initiative will support Canadian researchers and institutions to work with collaborators around the world, including in developing countries, on a range of HIV vaccine research activities, including:
– Discovering new vaccine candidates;
– Strengthening clinical trials capacity;
– Manufacturing promising vaccine candidates for trials; and
– Addressing policy, regulatory, and social issues related to HIV vaccine development.
The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative will support research priorities identified in the scientific strategic plan of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an alliance of researchers, funding bodies, and advocates dedicated to accelerating HIV vaccine development. This will help ensure coordination and collaboration with international HIV vaccine research efforts, and help ensure that the needs of developing countries are at the core of the initiative.
The search for an HIV vaccine is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time, says Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. Canadas important commitment will support advanced research, and help speed the development of an effective vaccine.
The initiative will focus on the following specific areas:
Discovery and social research: Through this component, support will be provided to HIV vaccine discovery and social research while strengthening the capacity and promoting greater involvement and collaboration amongst researchers in Canada and low- and middle-income countries.
Clinical trial capacity building and networks: Support will be given to researchers and research institutions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, that will strengthen their capacity to conduct high-quality clinical trials of HIV vaccines and other related prevention technologies.
Pilot-scale manufacturing capacity for clinical trial lots: The proposed manufacturing facility will increase the global capacity to produce HIV vaccine candidates for use in clinical trials. These trials will be conducted mostly in and for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries.
Policy and regulatory issues: This component will improve the regulatory capacity in low- and middle-income countries, particularly those where clinical trials are planned or ongoing, and to address policy issues that will ultimately promote global access to an HIV vaccine.
Community and social dimensions: The CHVI will support the development and strengthening of community, legal, ethical and human rights frameworks for a HIV vaccine in Canada and in low-and middle-income countries.
Planning, coordination and evaluation: The CHVI will coordinate its activities with Canadian and international HIV vaccine research and development partners to ensure the Canadian contribution to the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is most effective.