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H2020

EAVI2020 Report Summary

Project ID: 681137
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EAVI2020 (European AIDS Vaccine Initiative 2020)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The European AIDS Vaccine Initiative 2020 (EAVI2020) funded by the EU under the Horizon 2020 program aims to accelerate the identification and development of an effective HIV vaccine that may have utility both to prevent infection and contribute to the establishment of long term remission in those infected with the virus. This is a five-year project, which has just finished its first year. The project coordinates multidisciplinary research across 23 European institutions and is divided into a number of interlinked Work Packages. In its first year the program was initiated with a kick-off meeting, the establishment of an effective management process and dissemination of the project’s initial visibility. Two main streams of research and development focus on the generation of new vaccine candidates to 1) induce antibodies that can inhibit the highly diverse range of circulating strains and 2) CD8 T cells (a population of white blood cells) that can effectively recognise and destroy HIV infected cells. Initial work has focused on design of new candidates never previously tested in preclinical animal models or humans. During the first year, a range of candidates have been advanced from discovery into preclinical animal models. A particular focus has been to better understand how different animal models can predict human responses. A number of studies have been initiated to support this endeavour where parallel studies will eventually be performed in humans. Clinical data will be cross-validated against on-going animal studies to determine their predictive utility and, where appropriate, refine them further. Advanced vaccine candidates have entered the process required for manufacture of vaccine candidates to be tested in humans – this is in line with the programmatic plan to begin human testing within 18 months of initiating the program. A wide range of tools have been established to provide in depth study of both the safety and potential utility of these candidates to induce protective responses. These tools will undergo continual refinement during the course of the project to ensure that they incorporate the very latest scientific findings. Work performed to date in the program is on track to deliver the work plan to schedule and to maximise the impact of the projects outputs.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

All due deliverables and milestones have been met during year 1 and work is progressing according to the project plan. Critical achievements have been the establishment and progress of all Work Packages. Weekly research calls with all partners have facilitated coordination and dissemination across the project. Monthly Steering Committee calls have ensured the smooth running of the project and have helped foresee and mitigate any risks. The establishment of the EAVI2020 website (www.eavi2020.eu) and associated media platforms have ensured external visibility. Excellent press coverage has been important in making the non-scientific community aware of the project.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The EAVI2020 project will give a fundamental contribution towards: a) a reduction in the cost associated with late stage prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine failure, increasing the number of other candidates which can be tested with the same resources, thus increasing the chance of discovery of an effective vaccine and b) the establishment of close links with the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), for the further clinical development of the vaccine candidates identified in the present initiative.
Work is on track to deliver the proposed impacts by the end of the program, in 2020.

Related information

Record Number: 196442 / Last updated on: 2017-03-30
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