Tag Archive: EC

  1. 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.

  2. EAVI2020 Students in Focus: Isabella Huettner (King’s College London, UK)

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    Time to meet: Isabella Huettner

    profile picture of Isabella Huettner

    Isabella Huettner is a PhD student at King’s College London, UK.

    During the 4 years of my PhD with Dr Katie Doores at King’s College London (UK), I had the opportunity to attend yearly consortium meetings and several PhD training courses. We are interested in studying the role of sugars as priming immunogens for an HIV-1 vaccine. The EAVI2020 consortium and training courses have been an integral part of my PhD journey. For me, the chance to present and discuss my research and learn about the research projects of the other incredible partners in the consortium was very inspiring. The whole consortium is very collaborative, supportive and accommodating of students. The student training courses allowed me to get to know many intelligent and talented post-docs and fellow PhD students and learn about different aspects of vaccination and considerations in the development and use of immunogens and adjuvants. I also valued the opportunity to travel around Europe and get a glimpse behind the scenes in world-leading research institutions. I am very grateful for the chance to be an EU-funded PhD student and to be part of this consortium. I hope there will be many more EU-funded consortiums like this, since the scientific contribution and progress of this consortium is invaluable. I recently submitted my PhD thesis and I will have my viva soon. I will continue working in Katie’s lab and finish the EAVI2020 project, while expanding my focus to SARS-CoV2 related research topics. If I am not in the lab, I like to dance ballet, contemporary or jazz and enjoy travelling.

  3. EAVI2020 receives 6-month project extension

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    Funding body, European Commission recognises blight of COVID-19 on Horizon2020 clinical research

    COVID-19 has had a considerable impact on the progress of EAVI2020’s clinical trial and lab work. Like many Horizon2020 projects involved in clinical trials, it was required to halt all lab work as a result of the pandemic and the European Commission (EC) have recognised this. It is anticipated that EAVI2020 clinical work can resume in the coming months, and the EAVI2020 consortium will use this compensatory time to continue the lab work when it is safe to return. The Consortium are very appreciated for this no-cost extension and they are positive that this will maximise the expected impacts of the EAVI2020 project.

    EAVI2020 will thus have an expected project closure date in April 2021.

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

  4. Online ePanel discussion and SciTalk presentations on HIV research with EAVI2020 partners

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    The eAccess Meetings project

    In 2016, The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise and Keystone Symposia inaugurated a collaboration to produce an ePanel discussion and series of SciTalks presentations that brought together key experts in the HIV prevention vaccine field.

    Following the great response to the inaugural video series, to which EAVI2020 also contributed with two presentations, the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise in collaboration with Keystone Symposia has now presented the second series of eAccess Meetings: 2017 Keystone Symposia on HIV Vaccines.

    EAVI2020’s participates in an ePanel discussion and SciTalks presentations

    As part of the eAccess Meetings project, EAVI2020 participated in an ePanel discussion on Antibody Functions Beyond Neutralization with Prof Robin Shattock as a panellist (Imperial College) and Dr Gabriella Scarlatti (Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise) as moderator.

    The ePanel discussion is available online and can be found on the Enterprise web portal or on their YouTube Channel playlist.

    screenshots of TV frame of Gabriella Scarlatti and Robin Shattock

    Additionally, Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam and Paola Martinez Murillo (Karolinska Institutet) also participated in the SciTalks with presentations on “Individualized profiling of germline antibody V genes” and “F9, a new class of antibodies that neutralizes autologous tier 2 viruses in NHP immunized with liposome conjugated well-ordered trimers”.

    SciTalks can also be accessed on the Enterprise web portal or on their YouTube Channel playlist.

    screenshots of TV frames of Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam and Paola Martinez-Murillo

     

    More information

    eAccess Meetings: 2017 Keystone Symposia on HIV Vaccines.

    For more information about EAVI2020, please contact us.

  5. EAVI2020 at the Keystone Symposia on HIV vaccines, 26-31 March 2017

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    EAVI2020’s partner institutions presented the latest research on HIV vaccines at the Keystone Symposia on HIV vaccines.

    As part of the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the HIV vaccines series took place on the 26-31 March 2017 in Colorado, USA.

    Despite great progress in preventing and treating HIV, new infections continue to plague communities around the world, and the need for an HIV vaccine is as urgent as ever. Several large cohorts of HIV-infected individuals have enabled tremendous advances over the past five years in understanding immune responses to natural HIV infection. These advances have included the isolation of broad and potent anti-HIV antibodies, defining their developmental pathways, the generation of native-like Env trimers for immunization, and high-resolution structures of the envelope glycoprotein in complex with bnAbs. By 2017, many of these discoveries will have enabled new concepts to transition into human clinical trials, including passive monoclonal antibody therapy and novel immunization approaches. These platforms, incorporating improved technology for monitoring immune responses, will drive major advances in the vaccine field. This HIV Vaccines meeting will present the latest results from human clinical studies, along with the cutting-edge basic science behind such trials to highlight approaches that may lead to an HIV vaccine, and also reveal the molecular underpinnings of B and T cell-mediated immunity.

    EAVI2020 at the Keystone Symposia

    EAVI2020 partners gave presentations on the latest research developments under EAVI2020 on topics like DNA Vaccination for Experimental Medicine Trials of HIV Vaccines (R. Shattock, Imperial), Inducing HIV-1 Neutralizing Antibodies with Native-Like Envelope Trimers (R. Sanders, AMC), Individualized Profiling of Germline V Genes and Application to Env Trimer Immunogenicity Studies in NHPs (G. Karlsson Hedestam, Karolinska Institutet) and ADCC and Beyond (S. Kent, University of Melbourne).

    EAVI2020’s PhD student Yoann Aldon also gave a poster presentation on HIV vaccines management.

    More information

    Full programme and for more information on the Keystone Symposia on HIV vaccines.

    For more information about EAVI2020, please contact us.

    Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam talking in front of a digital projection Rogier Sanders talking behind a lectern

    G. Karlsson Hedestam and R. Sanders.