MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

IAVI receives $378,000 grant for vaccine development

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative announced on Monday the receipt of a $378,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the development of new vaccines against major diseases, including AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

"New approaches are critically needed," IAVI Chief Scientific Officer and Principal Investigator of the grant Wayne C. Koff said. "Despite major advances in vaccine discovery and immune-system monitoring, common questions hinder development of vaccines against many diseases. Solving these trans-vaccinology questions in a global consortium could be transformative for individual and public health. IAVI is once again proud to serve as a catalyst in cutting-edge science by convening a forum to open this conversation."

The grant will go toward the creation of a Human Vaccines Project. The project would seek to identify and prioritize the vaccine development issues of diseases that plague the world today.

"To spur innovation and accelerate breakthroughs, we must transform the current landscape of vaccine development," Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Deborah Bae said. "By sharing knowledge, workshop participants will help identify challenges impeding vaccine development and seed a new collaborative approach to research that we hope will put us on a path to new discovery."

IAVI will host three workshops for project participants to prepare them for the task at-hand, including exploring how vaccines are currently developed, the potential impact of the program and the processes needed to carry it out. International experts and organizations will also help devise a specific scientific plan to tackle vaccine development.

"There are many viral, bacterial, parasitic and chronic diseases for which vaccines are needed," Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania and Chairman of the Human Vaccines Project Steering Committee Stanley Plotkin said. "This project holds the potential to greatly accelerate the development of vaccines against major global killers, and provide a foundation for future prevention of new and emerging diseases."