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IAVI and NineSigma Collaborate to Identify New Approaches to Developing AIDS Vaccines
Date:2/21/2012

identify have much to contribute to the development of an effective AIDS vaccine. Each day, some 7,400 individuals worldwide are newly infected with HIV. IAVI's mission is to ensure the development of a preventive vaccine that will eventually help to end this devastating pandemic."

IAVI collaborates extensively with an established network of talented AIDS researchers, and is always on the lookout for promising ideas and technologies to help it fulfill its mission. In concert with NineSigma, IAVI sought additional approaches to designing candidate vaccines based on stabilized HIV Envelope protein complexes. The HIV Envelope protein is the sole target of neutralizing antibodies against HIV and would ordinarily be an ideal antigen for use in candidate AIDS vaccines. But its structural instability has hampered attempts to use it effectively to that end. Successful stabilization of this large protein complex would represent a dramatic advancement in HIV vaccine design.

Working closely with IAVI scientists, NineSigma recommended, drafted and disseminated a Request for Proposal (RFP), titled "Engineering Stable Proteins," to reach out to a worldwide network of distinguished protein scientists across medical and scientific sub-disciplines. NineSigma attracted 34 proposals from highly qualified scientists in 14 different countries. 

Those whose proposals have been chosen for funding or further collaboration include Dr. Rogier Sanders, Academic Medical Center, Medical Microbiology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Dr. Ralf Wagner, University of Regensburg Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Regensburg, Germany.

Dr. Sanders commented, "AIDS continues to cause much devastation, and my hope is that our virus evolution based approach can be applied to help advance the development of a vaccine to end the pandemic."

"We are confident that our library screening strategy can contribute to identifying novel variants of the HIV envelo
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SOURCE NineSigma
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