Tag Archive: EAVI2020

  1. World AIDS DAY Part 1: EAVI2020’s research to a better future | Trial EAVI2020_3Sm

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    Hi! I’m the EAVI2020-3Sm trial and I am testing the VAC02 vaccine. VAC02 is an HIV vaccine candidate based on discovery of the immunogenicity of a conserved gp41 peptide, namely W614A-3S, recognized by natural broadly Neutralizing Ab detected in HIV-1 infected individuals. It is composed of gp41-3Sm peptide that is coupled to CRM197 in an adjuvant formulation. VAC02 is an HIV vaccine candidate based on discovery of the immunogenicity of a conserved gp41 peptide, namely W614A-3S, recognized by natural broadly neutralizing Ab detected in HIV-1 infected individuals. It is composed of gp41-3Sm peptide that is coupled to CRM197 in an adjuvant formulation. The first in man clinical trial will discern the safety and the immunogenicity of VAC02 as well as the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1.

    Let me introduce you the team: Robin Shattock (Imperial College London, Study sponsor, UK), Behazine Combadiere, Vincent Vieillard and Patrice Debre (Institut National de Santé et de Recherche Medicale – Inserm, Cimi-Paris, France), Agence Nationale de Recherche sur le SIDA et Maladies Infectieuses Emergentes (ANRS-MIE, France) and Minka Therapeutics (France), they all work together to ensure I am successful!

    Progress has been made in epitope identification for the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies. Peptide-based vaccination has become one of the challenges of this decade. Based on the discovery of natural broadly neutralizing antibodies against a conserved short epitope of GP41 in long-term non progressor HIV+ patients however rarely observed in HIV progressors, the EAVI2020-3Sm trial will be pioneering in the induction of such antibodies against HIV in man using VAC02 designed vaccine. Furthermore, the translation of VAC02 vaccine candidate into an experimental medicine (EM) study with results expected in 2022 will accelerate progress in the development of an HIV-1 vaccine.

    Find out more about the other EAVI2020 trials taking place:

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0051

    HIV-CORE 0051

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0052

    HIV-CORE 0052

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020_01

    EAVI2020-01

    info card on clinical trial BCN03

    BCN03

    Follow World AIDS Day campaigns on Twitter with #Rocktheribbon

    To donate and show your support, go to the National AIDS Trust website

    For World AIDS Day 2022, the EAVI2020 clinicians and researchers are shedding a light on the EAVI2020 clinical trials that aim to help accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine. Every year on 1st December since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus. According to WHO, since the beginning of the pandemic, 36.3 million people have lost their lives and it was estimated that there were 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.

    It is a day to remember those who have perished due to AIDS and that international research projects such as EAVI2020, are continuing the fight to find an effective vaccine for the HIV virus that has so far evaded eradication for the past 30+ years. Learn more about EAVI2020’s clinical trials and what the dedicated consortium of researchers and clinicians aim to achieve.

  2. World AIDS DAY Part 4: EAVI2020’s research to a better future | Trial HIV-CORE 0051

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    Hi! I am Trial HIV-CORE 0051. I am a phase 1/2a open-label trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of candidate T-cell vaccines ChAdOx1.HTI and MVA.HTI given sequentially to healthy HIV-1/2 negative adult volunteers at the Jenner Institute, University of Oxford. Our trial aims to establish the initial safety and immunogenicity of the candidate on the path towards a preventive use of this strategy and is complemented by a series of HIV cure trials in early-treated PLWH.

    The HIV-CORE 0051 team including Dr Paola Cicconi (Principal Investigator) Prof Tomáš Hanke (Non-Clinical Principal Investigator), Dr Nicola Borthwick and Dr Edmund Wee (Immunology Laboratory Leads) and trial managers Dr Alison Crook and Ms Molly Glaze along with the many other team members that make up the HIV-CORE 0051 Trial team, in close collaboration with AELIX.

    The trial evaluates a candidate T-cell vaccine, which are being developed by a biotech company, AELIX Therapeutics. The regimen utilizes a prime with engineered replication-deficient simian (chimpanzee) adenovirus vector ChAdOx1 followed by a heterologous boost with a replication-deficient poxvirus vector called MVA. Both vectors deliver protein HTI (HIVACAT T-cell Immunogen) designed to generate protective HIV-1-specific T-cell targeting vulnerable sites of HIV-1. The HTI design was informed by human data, whereby the HTI-specific T cells were associated with better viral control in more than 1,000 people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) within a broad HLA class I and class II allele coverage. The immunogen was designed by the team led by Professor Christian Brander and Dr Beatriz Mothe at the Institut de Recerca de la Sida – IrsiCaixa in Barcelona.

    For the last decade, the HIV vaccine development has been almost entirely preoccupied with antibody-based protection, while the T-cell vaccines have been sadly ignored. It is only recently that highly rational T-cell strategies are being resurrected mainly in the context of HIV cure, where effective killer T cells will likely be key for drug-free HIV remission, perhaps even eradication. Current prevention focuses on behavioural and biomedical interventions and provision of antiretroviral drugs, however, an effective HIV-1 vaccine will help many people beyond the reach of today’s treatment and prevention options. Our trial which is aiming to understand the mechanisms and paths towards induction of protective T cells is therefore highly topical.

    Find out more about the other EAVI2020 trials taking place.

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0052

    HIV-CORE 0052

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020 - 3SM

    EAVI2020-3SM

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020_01

    EAVI2020-01

    info card on clinical trial BCN03

    BCN03

    Follow World AIDS Day campaigns on Twitter with #Rocktheribbon

    To donate and show your support, go to the National AIDS Trust website

    For World AIDS Day 2021, the EAVI2020 clinicians and researchers are shedding a light on the EAVI2020 clinical trials that aim to help accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine. Every year on 1st December since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus. According to WHO, since the beginning of the pandemic, 36.3 million people have lost their lives and it was estimated that there were 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.

    It is a day to remember those who have perished due to AIDS and that international research projects such as EAVI2020, are continuing the fight to find an effective vaccine for the HIV virus that has so far evaded eradication for the past 30+ years. Learn more about EAVI2020’s clinical trials and what the dedicated consortium of researchers and clinicians aim to achieve.

  3. World AIDS DAY Part 5: EAVI2020’s research to a better future | Trial BCN03

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    Hi, I am EAVI2020 trial BCN03. Our trial takes place at IRSICAIXA with Christian Brander (Principal Investigator, IRSICAIXA) Beatriz Mothe (Principal Investigator, IRSICAIXA), working in collaboration with Rogier Sanders (Principal Investigator, AMC) and Dietmar Katinger (Principal Investigator, POLYMUN). Our trial focuses on a combined T- and B-cell, therapeutic HIV vaccine combining the HTI T cell vaccines with SOSIP envelope immunogens.

    Our trial is primarily focusing on the safety of the intervention and whether the intervention can induce sustained virus control once antiretroviral therapy (ART) is stopped. What sets our trial apart is that this is the first therapeutic vaccine trial that combines potent T and B cell immunogens in a combination regimen. We are hoping that this trial will test whether the addition of a B cell immunogen component to a T cell vaccine regimen can improve post-vaccination virus control compared to a single component regimen.

    Find out more about the other EAVI2020 trials taking place

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0051

    HIV-CORE 0051

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0052

    HIV-CORE 0052

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020 - 3SM

    EAVI2020-3SM

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020_01

    EAVI2020-01

    Follow World AIDS Day campaigns on Twitter with #Rocktheribbon

    To donate and show your support, go to the National AIDS Trust website

    For World AIDS Day 2021, the EAVI2020 clinicians and researchers are shedding a light on the EAVI2020 clinical trials that aim to help accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine. Every year on 1st December since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus. According to WHO, since the beginning of the pandemic, 36.3 million people have lost their lives and it was estimated that there were 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.

    It is a day to remember those who have perished due to AIDS and that international research projects such as EAVI2020, are continuing the fight to find an effective vaccine for the HIV virus that has so far evaded eradication for the past 30+ years. Learn more about EAVI2020’s clinical trials and what the dedicated consortium of researchers and clinicians aim to achieve.

  4. World AIDS DAY Part 2: EAVI2020’s research to a better future | Trial HIV-CORE 0052

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    Hi! I am Trial HIV-CORE 0052; a phase I open-label trial aiming to establish and assess the safety and immunogenicity of candidate T-cell vaccines ChAdOx1.tHIVconsv1 and MVA.tHIVconsv3+MVA.tHIVconsv4 given in combination to healthy volunteers at low risk for HIV-1 infection at The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford London (Trial Sponsor) which will be followed by further studies towards both prevention of HIV infection and an HIV cure.

    The HIV-CORE 0052 team including Dr Paola Cicconi (Principal Investigator) Prof Tomáš Hanke (Non Clinical Principal Investigator), Dr Nicola Borthwick and Dr Edmund Wee (Immunology Laboratory Leads) and trial managers Dr Alison Crook and Ms Molly Glaze are aiming to test a candidate T-cell vaccine strategy against HIV-1. The tested regimen consists of a prime with engineered replication-deficient simian (chimpanzee) adenovirus vector ChAdOx1 followed by a heterologous boost with two replication-deficient poxviruses called MVA. These vectors deliver three unique mosaic algorithm-computed immunogens derived from the six most functionally conserved regions of the HIV proteome, collectively called HIVconsvX. Two regions are from the Gag including the whole capsid protein p24 and four are from the Pol proteins. These regions are common to most global HIV-1 variants and are hard to change and escape. These vaccines are so-called subunit genetic vaccines, are designated ChAdOx1.tHIVconsv1, MVA.tHIVconsv3 and MVA.tHIVconsv4 and aim to induce protective killer T-cell responses targeting HIV-1 ‘where it hurts’. If effective, they could work across all major HIV-1 clades and be deployed in all geographical regions.

    Throughout the challenging years of HIV vaccine development, when for the last decade most of the field has almost entirely focused on B-cell biology and antibody-based protection, Professor Hanke remained standing as one of a very few T-cell vaccinologists believing in vaccine-inducible protective cellular immunity, improving, and testing his highly rational T-cell strategy, which is now very much at the forefront of the current efforts.

    An HIV vaccine is urgently needed, however, simple vaccine solutions for this most difficult of viruses have remained extremely elusive. Development of an effective vaccine has been a slow and difficult process over four decades, but remarkable progress has been made in recent years. The experience with COVID-19 vaccines underscores how technologies under development for decades, such as RNA vaccines from 2001 and adenoviral vectors since 1991, can suddenly emerge as a leading and highly effective approach by building on decades of effort. Prof Hanke thinks it is likely that T cell-inducing vaccines for HIV-1 will reach this tipping point in the next 5 years and emerge as an additional tool to help control the HIV pandemic.

    Find out more about the other EAVI2020 trials taking place

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0051

    HIV-CORE 0051

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020 - 3SM

    EAVI2020-3SM

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020_01

    EAVI2020-01

    info card on clinical trial BCN03

    BCN03

    Follow World AIDS Day campaigns on Twitter with #Rocktheribbon

    To donate and show your support, go to the National AIDS Trust website

    For World AIDS Day 2021, the EAVI2020 clinicians and researchers are shedding a light on the EAVI2020 clinical trials that aim to help accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine. Every year on 1st December since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus. According to WHO, since the beginning of the pandemic, 36.3 million people have lost their lives and it was estimated that there were 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.

    It is a day to remember those who have perished due to AIDS and that international research projects such as EAVI2020, are continuing the fight to find an effective vaccine for the HIV virus that has so far evaded eradication for the past 30+ years. Learn more about EAVI2020’s clinical trials and what the dedicated consortium of researchers and clinicians aim to achieve.

  5. World AIDS DAY Part 3: EAVI2020’s research to a better future | Trial EAVI2020_01

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    Hi! I am trial EAVI2020_01. Here at Imperial College London, both scientists and clinicians are leading my study which is modelling the interaction between rationally designed synthetic model viral protein immunogens (EAVI2020_01). We are studying immune responses to several different proteins that are modelled on HIV. The immunogens have a protein-adjuvant design and are given as an injection into the arm.

    Despite global efforts, HIV has proven one of the most difficult infections against which to develop a vaccine. We use sophisticated proteins that have been precisely developed to overcome these natural barriers. If the responses are promising, then we will have an early blueprint for making an HIV vaccine. Working on this trial are Professor Robin Shattock (Imperial College London, Scientific Lead), Dr Katrina Pollock (Imperial College London, Chief Investigator), and Dr Hannah Cheeseman (Imperial College London, Laboratory Lead).

    Vaccines are typically developed by focussing on the infection and not the immune response. The effectiveness of these vaccines is dependent on how most of us would usually respond to the infection if we were to come into contact with it. This strategy for making vaccines is restricting. For example, almost everyone who gets exposed to HIV will develop life threatening diseases without treatment.  The usual immune response is not protective.  The EAVI2020_01 study takes a different approach. Proteins that mimic the hidden parts of HIV are given several times to shepherd the body’s response precisely to make antibodies. The aim is that these antibodies will be broadly protective against all strains of HIV.

    The goal of HIV vaccine research is to make vaccines that induce broadly protective antibodies. This study will tell us how close we are to being able to do that. A successful outcome would pioneer the design of new vaccines for HIV and other highly challenging infectious diseases.

    Find out more about the other EAVI2020 trials taking place.

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0051

    HIV-CORE 0051

    info card on clinical trial HIV-CORE 0052

    HIV-CORE 0052

    info card on clinical trial EAVI2020 - 3SM

    EAVI2020-3SM

    info card on clinical trial BCN03

    BCN03

    Follow World AIDS Day campaigns on Twitter with #Rocktheribbon

    To donate and show your support, go to the National AIDS Trust website

    For World AIDS Day 2021, the EAVI2020 clinicians and researchers are shedding a light on the EAVI2020 clinical trials that aim to help accelerate the search for an effective HIV vaccine. Every year on 1st December since 1988, World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV virus. According to WHO, since the beginning of the pandemic, 36.3 million people have lost their lives and it was estimated that there were 37.7 million people living with HIV at the end of 2020, over two-thirds of whom (25.4 million) are in the WHO African Region.

    It is a day to remember those who have perished due to AIDS and that international research projects such as EAVI2020, are continuing the fight to find an effective vaccine for the HIV virus that has so far evaded eradication for the past 30+ years. Learn more about EAVI2020’s clinical trials and what the dedicated consortium of researchers and clinicians aim to achieve.

  6. Students in Focus – where are they now?

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    We revisit some of the early career researchers from our past Students in Focus to see where they are now and how their EAVI2020 experiences have helped them along the way.

    We continue to be very proud and celebrate the successes of the early career researchers who took part in our Continuing Education & Training in HIV vaccine development programme. Over the past year, our EAVI2020 Students in Focus series has shone a spotlight on the students to hear from them about their experience in the programme. Here, we catch up with Nathifa and Alessandra.

    Nathifa Moyo

    Read Nathifa’s original feature

    Profile photo of Nathifa Moyo

    What work did you do as part of EAVI? and what are you up to now?

    I was based at The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford for 5 years as a postdoctoral researcher in the EAVI consortium. There, I was involved in the development of a T-cell vaccine for HIV-1 using the novel T-cell based immunogens, tHIVconsvX. Newly emerging technologies were combined to maximize the potential for inducing effective and durable T-cell responses in pre-clinical and clinical models. In addition, multiple vectors for antigen delivery, such as simian (chimpanzee) adenovirus (ChAdOx1), poxvirus-modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) and new technologies like messenger RNA (mRNA), were assessed to determine if these systems offer opportunities to enhance cellular immune responses.

    I have since moved to biotech and joined the Immunology research team at Enara Bio, where my current focus is based on the development of novel T-cell based immunotherapies for cancer.

    What did you find most valuable about being part of the EAVI2020 training and development programme?

    The training and development programme provided opportunities to network and learn from other academic, industry and public health partners. It provided tremendous insight and knowledge into the process of vaccine development from bench construction to pre-clinical animal models and finally to the clinics.

    Any recent highlights to share?

    I was presented with the 2021 HIVR4P Mathieson New Investigator Award in HIV Research. This was awarded for my research and published work in Moyo et al., 2020: Tetravalent immunogen assembled from conserved regions of HIV-1 and delivered as mRNA demonstrates potent preclinical T cell immunogenicity and breath. In 2018, I was awarded with the Human Vaccine Trail Network (HVTN) Translational HIV Vaccine Early-Stage Investigator Award.

     

    Alessandra Gallinaro

    Read Alessandra’s original feature

    profile photo of Alessandra Gallinaro

    What work did you do as part of EAVI and what are you up to now?

    I have been part of the EAVI 2020 consortium since I was a PhD student. I worked on my PhD thesis on developing an IDLV (Integrase Defective Lentiviral Vector) based HIV vaccine using EAVI rationally designed HTI and UFO antigens. At present, as a post-doc, I am still working on improving and implementing IDLV as a vaccine platform for HIV and the novel SARS 2 coronavirus.

    What did you value most about being part of the EAVI2020 training and development programme?

    During the EAVI2020 training and development programme, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to share knowledge, expertise and data with other students and with PIs by acquiring very useful contacts and collaborations for my project. Also, writing abstracts, creating posters and presenting my work was a great opportunity to improve my skills.

    Any new publications to share with us?
    Gallinaro A, Borghi M, Pirillo MF, et al. Development and Preclinical Evaluation of an Integrase Defective Lentiviral Vector Vaccine Expressing the HIVACAT T Cell Immunogen in Mice. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.omtm.2020.01.013
    Gallinaro A, Pirillo MF, Aldon Y, et al. Persistent Immunogenicity of Integrase Defective Lentiviral Vectors delivering membrane tethered Native-Like HIV-1 Envelope Trimers (pre-print). Submitted to NPJ vaccines.

  7. EAVI2020 quarterly newsletter | April 2021

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    Download the April 2021 newsletter (.pdf)

     

    In this issue:

    • EAVI2020 receives extension and clinical trials resume
    • EAVI2020 consortium at HIVR4P
    • Students in Focus: Narcís Saubi, Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR)
    • Publications with EAVI2020
    • EAVI2020 out and about: International Women’s Day
    • HIV/AIDS news: COVID-19 disruptions to HIV prevention could increase new infections amongst men
    • Other news: EAVI2020 lead investigator, Prof Robin Shattock profiled in The Lancet

     

    Foreword from Robin 

    Following a challenging year in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic the consortium is excited to be progressing again at full speed.

    We were delighted to receive a no cost extension from the EU that will allow us to complete our full programme of research and make up for delays caused by multiple lockdowns across the EU. We continue to invest in the training and mentorship of gifted young researchers to ensure a rich talent pool for the future, some of whom are highlighted in this newsletter. In our final year we are conducting seven clinical trials to evaluate ten new vaccine candidates, demonstrating an unprecedented level of translation from discovery to clinical evaluation. Our clinical trials are underpinned by an integrated approach designed to maximise our understanding of human immunity to vaccination and the pathways for driving B and T cell breadth to combat the extraordinary diversity of circulating HIV strains. These studies will be the culmination of our discovery program, will significantly expand scientific understanding and provide a pipeline of products with potential for moving into later stage product development. The entire EAVI2020 team are galvanised around maximising the potential of our discovery program and building a sustainable legacy for HIV vaccine research in the EU.

    Professor Robin Shattock
    EAVI2020 coordinator and on behalf of the EAVI2020 consortium

    Read the rest of the newsletter here

  8. EAVI2020 at HIVR4P

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    HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) took place virtually in February and many of EAVI2020’s researchers participated in various capacities. HIVR4P is the only global scientific conference focused exclusively on the challenging and fast-growing field of HIV prevention research and to have so many of our researchers involved is a testament to EAVI2020’s commitment to knowledge exchange with its stakeholders and the scientific community. On the HIVR4P programme committee from EAVI2020 includes Dr Gabriella Scarlatti (OSR, Italy), Prof Damien Purcell (UoM, Australia), Prof Rogier Sanders (AMC, The Netherlands), and Prof Robin Shattock (Imperial UK).

    Below are just some of the presentations, oral abstracts and co-chairing our EAVI2020 researchers carried out at HIVR4P. The conference programme has more details on all sessions.

    EAVI2020 @ HIVR4P

    Symposium

    B and T cells: Old players, new strategies

    Co-chaired by Christian Brander (IrsiCaixa, Barcelona)

    Presentation by Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) – The maturation of B cell responses

    Early vaccine clinical studies on native-like envelope trimers and germline-targeting immunogens

    Presentation by Katrina Pollock – Native-like trimers based on consensus and mosaic envelope sequences

    Getting the job done: Designing immunogens to induce broadly neutralizing antibodies

    Co-chairs, Tom Hanke (University of Oxford, UK) and Max Crispin (University of Southampton, UK)

    An ambitious and advancing pipeline: T-cell and non-neutralizing antibody-based vaccine strategies

    Presentation by Tom Hanke (University of Oxford, UK) – Refocusing T cell responses with therapeutic vaccination strategies

    First responders

    Presentation by Behazine Combadiere (INSERM, CIMI, France) – Innate immune response signatures (adjuvants)

    Oral Abstracts

    Env and platform designs to improve antibody responses

    Co-chaired by Pauline Maisonnasse (Université Paris-Saclay, France)

    Presentation by Isabella Huettner (King’s College London, UK) – Cross-reactivity between HIV-1 bnAbs and parasite glycans

    Gene-based vaccine approaches

    Co-chaired by Paul McKay (Imperial College London, UK)

    Presentation by Nathifa Moyo (University of Oxford, UK) – Tetravalent immunogen assembled from conserved regions of HIV-1 and delivered as mRNA demonstrates potent preclinical T cell immunogenicity and breadth

    Presentation by Eric Arts  (Western University, Canada) – A VSV-based HIV-1 vaccine provides protection in macaques against low dose cross-clade SHIVenv_SF162_P3 challenge

    Integrating and optimizing cellular responses

    Presentation by Narcis Saubi (Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca, Barcelona) – BCG.HTI2auxo.int priming vaccination enhances the HIV-1 specific T cell immune responses elicited by MVA.HTI

    Building better bNAbs

    Co-chaired by Marit van Gils (AMC, The Netherlands)

    Roundtable

    Coming soon to a clinic near you? The antibody infusion pipeline

    Presentation by Marit van Gils (AMC, The Netherlands) – Antibodies against COVID-19

  9. EAVI2020 extended and trials resume

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    As new light springs at the horizon with the rollout of efficacious COVID-19 vaccines, EAVI2020 has received a 12-month extension and its clinical studies across Europe are resuming.

    A new year, and a very different landscape from the last. EAVI2020 clinical work is coming out of its semi-hibernating state and the prospects seem brighter for 2021. Just this past month, EAVI2020’s funding body, the European Commission has given EAVI2020 an extra 12 months of breathing space. This is on top of an already granted 6-month extension which means EAVI2020 now has an expected closure date in April 2022. This speaks volumes as to how the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered EAVI2020 research. Nonetheless, the European Commission’s commitment to developing effective vaccine candidates for HIV remains undeterred, with continuing support for EAVI2020’s contribution.

    EAVI2020 has already achieved many of its initial objectives from 2015 but there is so much still to do. With study resumption getting underway, the EAVI2020 consortium is eager to dive back in.

    At Imperial College London, UK, the screening of new potential volunteers is resuming in the series of clinical experimental medicine studies (read more about the mosaic trial). The study is assessing how different protein immunogen combinations influence the development of protective antibodies against HIV, with the goal of inducing broadly neutralising antibodies. The first immunogen dose was administered on March 28 2019 at NIHR Imperial CRF, Hammersmith Hospital, London, and almost exactly a year later, the study was paused due to COVID-19. Dr Katrina Pollock who is the Chief Investigator and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Vaccinology at Imperial College London told us, “We have looked forward to this moment for months. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty for many areas of research. Naturally, our team turned our full attention to delivering research to develop COVID-19 vaccines when it was most needed. Now, with COVID-19 vaccine roll-out underway, we have the opportunity to gradually restart other areas of vital research including the EAVI2020 studies”. To date, 54 volunteers have been enrolled into the study.

    At the University of Oxford, UK Prof Tomáš Hanke and the team will re-start in sequential order the T Cell Vaccine trials as of this month and as COVID-19 guidelines permit. Also, Dr Roger le Grand and Dr Nathalie Derreuddre-Bosquet with their team at Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), France, are expecting their NHP immunogenicity studies to commence in the summer.

    For further information on Europe’s COVId-19 response, the European Commission has placed up-to-date information on their website regarding COVID-19 response and action.

    Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

  10. EAVI2020’s final newsletter of 2020 – Looking back and looking forward

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    EAVI2020 Newsletter December 2020 (.pdf opens in a new window)

    2020 has been a bumpy ride (to say the least) for everyone, including EAVI2020. Clinical trials had to come to a standstill due to lockdown restrictions and as a result, EAVI2020 received a no-cost extension from its funding body, The European Commission to make up lost time. Yet, the EAVI2020 consortium still have worked tirelessly, if not more so this year, to continue to develop and evaluate EAVI2020 vaccine candidates. This issue exemplifies the continued work of the EAVI2020 consortium and while it only covers the last three months, it is a testimony that even during a global pandemic, the EAVI2020 consortium don’t stop. In this issue:

    • Forward from Prof Robin Shattock
    • COVID-19 and HIV vaccine R&D. Can one help the other?
    • Five years of EAVI2020 – Annual Meeting 2020
    • Prof Robin Shattock presents to European Parliament
    • The 10th PhD Training Course – The first online
    • Students in Focus: Alessandra Gallinaro & Dominik Dam
    • Publications with EAVI2020 research
    • EAVI2020 out and about (online)
    • Upcoming HIV/AIDS research events