AIDS vaccine collaboration announced

A collaboration has been announced between the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Lentigen to design a preventive AIDS vaccine based on Lentigen's technology.

The candidate AIDS vaccine will be devised to safely mimic biological aspects of the HIV infection and will first be tested in pre-clinical studies as part of an 18 month agreement.

Lentigen's technology utilizes a synthetic version of a virus related to HIV engineered, along with other safety medications, to be incapable of inserting itself into the human genome.

The technology is based on the lentivirus, which is a family of viruses that includes HIV. This makes the technology a promising platform to create a safe, synthetic mimic of HIV. Lentiviral vectors are also among the most efficient vehicles for delivering genes to mammalian cells.

If used for the AIDS vaccine, the modified lentivirus is expected to target the right tissues to protect from HIV infection and to stimulate a robust immune response.

"We believe that this prototype vaccine has the potential to generate the protective immune responses seen with experimental live-attenuated viruses, but without their pathogenic effects," Dr. Boro Dropulic, Chief Scientific Officer and a founder of Lentigen, said according to

The collaboration comes as part of IAVI's Innovation Fund, which was launched to support the application of novel and unconventional technologies to AIDS vaccine design and development. The program is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.