Their mission is to ensure the development of preventive AIDS vaccines that are not only safe and effective, but also accessible to all people. To that end, IAVI invests the bulk of its resources in the research and clinical assessment of candidate vaccines against strains of HIV that are prevalent in the developing world, where some 95% of new HIV infections occur.
Their scientific team works with more than 50 academic, commercial and government institutions to develop and assess candidate HIV vaccines. Over the last decade, IAVI and its partners in Africa and elsewhere have developed 21 HIV vaccine candidates, and evaluated 12 of these in early-stage human trials in 11 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. In total, IAVI and partners have conducted 24 HIV vaccine trials. To do this critical work, we, together with local research institutions, have developed a network of sophisticated laboratories in India and in southern and eastern Africa. Our Human Immunobiology Laboratory in London helps coordinate the work of these labs.
In the arena of vaccine design, we have brought leading HIV researchers together into scientific consortia—including the the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium (NAC) and the Vectors Consortium—to address key obstacles to the development of an effective AIDS vaccine and to generate novel candidates.
In developing countries, we work closely with governmental, community and civic organizations to ensure the transparent and ethical conduct of clinical trials. To that end, we support the staffing and training of Community Advisory Boards, which represent the communities in which clinical trials are conducted and help design trial protocols. We help educate people about vaccine trials and the need for AIDS vaccines. And we help build both the clinical and scientific capacity required to run a long-term program of vaccine trials.
They also analyze and develop policies to promote the involvement of the private sector in AIDS vaccine research and development. And we advocate for policies that will ensure that once an AIDS vaccine is developed, it will be swiftly produced, distributed and made affordable worldwide.
HOW THEY WORK
IAVI works around the world to apply the best scientific ideas and technologies to the design and swift development of candidate AIDS vaccines. Its hybrid operational model integrates key elements of both public and private sector business practices to hasten progress toward that goal.
Five core principles guide IAVI’s operations:
1. Speed: Because IAVI seeks not just to develop an AIDS vaccine but to do so as quickly as possible, it places a premium on organizational efficiency in every aspect of its work
2. Flexibility: IAVI strives to remain nimble, so that it can move quickly to exploit new ideas and opportunities
3. Innovation: IAVI systematically explores avenues of research that have traditionally been neglected in AIDS vaccine research and development
4. Partnership: IAVI works in close partnership with governments, scientists, and communities in low- and middle-income countries to sustain support for the global effort to develop an AIDS vaccine, to devise policies supportive of that enterprise and to prepare people for participation in vaccine-related research
5. Access: IAVI has done much preparatory investigation of the mechanisms and policies most likely to ensure the swift distribution and widespread uptake of a future AIDS vaccine
Where is International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)