HIV — A TRICKY VIRUS
Conventional vaccines such as live attenuated and killed virus fail against the highly variable and evasive HIV. Our approach is based on the induction of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to the envelope trimer on the surface of the virus.
people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide
new infections per year
new infections every minute
Learn more about the Scripps Consortium for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development and our scientific advances.
Aspects of immunogen development that bring us closer towards creating a successful and effective HIV vaccine.
Practices that focus on innovation and result in accelerated translation of HIV immunogens into clinical trials.
Discoveries that helped us remove roadblocks on the path that will lead to the creation of a bnAb-based HIV vaccine.
CREATING AN EFFECTIVE VACCINE
To design a successful HIV vaccine that elicits protective antibodies and induces long-term protective immunity, we propose integrated efforts focused on three areas.
Concentrates on developing immunogens and immunization strategies that induce broadly protective antibody responses to HIV. Focus on broadly neutralizing antibodies is strong as they have proven to be protective in robust non-human primate models and because some non-neutralizing antibodies may have protective qualities that might be exploited in vaccine discovery.
GERMLINE-TARGETING: Priming immunogen engineered to broadly activate precursors within a bnAb class; boost immunogens are successively more native-like.
IMMUNOFOCUSING: Immunogen sequence designed to focus responses to one or more particular epitopes.
LINEAGE-BASED DESIGN: Immunogens derived from sequence of Env variants in case studies of bnAb development from natural infection.
For consideration as a clinical candidate, an immunogen will first be expected to meet a number of criteria. We will only pursue development and clinical testing of vaccines that elicit bnAbs under physiological conditions relevant to humans. Detailed analysis and understanding of immune responses in humans will be crucial to iterative vaccine design improvements. Frequencies of polyclonal off-target B cells compete for immunodominance not only during priming but at all stages of sequential vaccination. Polishing trimer immunogens should generally be validated as part of a bnAb-inducing regimen, but if proposed alone must induce nAbs in NHPs.
2021 - JOURNAL ARTICLE
"We seek to discover immunogens and immunization strategies that induce antibody and cellular immune responses that are able to protect against exposure to the enormous diversity of global HIV isolates."