The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), launched a five-year strategy to accelerate the development of an effective vaccine to prevent HIV infection. The new Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise Strategic Plan (2018-2023) was unveiled at the opening of HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018), the world’s only scientific conference dedicated exclusively to biomedical HIV prevention, in Madrid, Spain.
“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 evaluates current opportunities, challenges and obstacles in HIV vaccine research and development and recommends a series of steps to:
- Propel the vaccine pipeline by strengthening strategies to align, amplify and accelerate development of candidate vaccines
- Prepare for success by tackling priorities essential to clarifying the roadmap for future access to a vaccine
- Expand resources and engagement by enlisting a diverse community of partners to support and contribute to the field.
The new strategic plan was developed through an IAS-led consultation involving HIV vaccine research and funding stakeholders, the Enterprise Strategic Advisory Group and the IAS Governing Council. The plan advances the ongoing partnership between the IAS, the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, and the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, which promotes coordination, collaboration and resource mobilization to accelerate HIV vaccine development.
“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.
“The new strategy builds on more than a decade of work by the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise to identify critical gaps in systems and knowledge, promote collaboration and address one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time.”
As scientific discoveries lead to promising new approaches to HIV vaccine development, and with several large-scale vaccine efficacy studies underway, the new strategy takes a fresh look at the major challenges confronting the HIV vaccine paradigm. Among these are:
- The increasing complexity of conducting vaccine efficacy trials as more biomedical HIV prevention options become available
- The need to address critical gaps in scientific knowledge about immune responses to HIV
- Stagnant funding and the need to increase government and industry commitment and investment to meet emerging vaccine research opportunities
- Uncertainty about regulatory and access pathways for a successful vaccine.
To address these challenges and others, the IAS/Enterprise plan proposes a series of near-term activities to address critical, of-the-moment challenges, along with longer-term goals and guideposts to measure achievements and guide adjustments in the strategy as the field evolves. The plan’s activities will be sequenced strategically and guided by annual implementation plans – with detailed activities, timelines and deliverables.
“This plan captures the promise and challenges of a unique and exciting moment in HIV vaccine development and offers a roadmap for action to bring us closer to the end of this epidemic,” President of the South African Research Council Glenda Grey said.
“With the support, expertise and convening power of IAS, this new strategic plan will build on the Enterprise’s longstanding role as a both a neutral convener and facilitator of collaboration in the HIV vaccine field and propel realizing our shared vision to develop a safe, effective and globally available HIV vaccine.”