The renewed Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative
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The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) highlights our country's world-class HIV and vaccine research expertise. The CHVI Research and Development Alliance is the cornerstone of the renewed CHVI, and will enable Canada to be a leading contributor to global efforts in developing a safe effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccine.
A collaboration between the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CHVI is Canada's contribution to the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise. The Government of Canada partners in the CHVI are the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Industry Canada.
There are many steps on the road to an HIV vaccine from basic lab research, to manufacturing a potential vaccine, to testing it in clinical trials with solid regulatory and ethical oversight, to finally getting it approved for use.
The Government of Canada's investment in the CHVI Research and Development Alliance complements our efforts to address the spread of HIV and AIDS in Canada and globally. The Alliance will facilitate the advancement of the science that will lead us towards the ultimate goal of an HIV vaccine.
In July 2010, at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed their commitment of up to $139 million to implement the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative. Funding will be available until 2017.
Since the CHVI was established in 2007, a total of $51 million has been committed to support domestic and international research; improve collaboration among researchers in Canada and around the world; and enhance capacity for vaccine trials, policy development and community engagement.
The overall breakdown of the CHVI funds is as follows:
- $102 million for HIV Vaccine Research and Development, which includes:
- advancing the basic science of HIV vaccines in Canada and in low- and middle-income countries;
- translating the basic science into clinical trials in humans in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on strengthening the clinical trials in those countries; and
- improving enabling conditions in Canada and in low- and middle-income countries for HIV vaccine research, with a focus on developing regulatory capacity.
- $30 million to support the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in low- and middle-income countries; and
- $7 million to support a coordinated approach to implementing the CHVI.
The Government of Canada, through CIDA, is investing in the prevention of mother-to child transmission, primarily in low- and-middle-income countries. As the development of an HIV vaccine will take time, it is important to continue to support global HIV prevention to reduce global HIV infection rates.
These investments aim to enhance access, quality and uptake of services by determining innovative and effective implementation strategies and programming solutions to help overcome barriers to service delivery. This may help pave the way for the introduction and acceptance of an HIV vaccine when it becomes available.
The CHVI Research and Development Alliance
The Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are supporting the establishment of a new CHVI Research and Development Alliance.
The CHVI Research and Development Alliance is a network in Canada that brings together leading researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as the international community, to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing HIV vaccine development.
The Alliance will:
- engage vaccine researchers, private industry, social scientists and international organizations to work towards common HIV vaccine research and development goals;
- help move research from the lab to internationally-recognized clinical trials;
- help low- and middle-income countries to build regulatory capacity to ensure clinical trials adhere to appropriate scientific and ethical standards;
- improve knowledge exchange to enhance collaboration and advance vaccine research and development; and
- develop technologies held by small and medium sized Canadian companies to advance the development of HIV vaccines.
The key areas of focus for the Alliance will be:
- advancing the basic science of HIV vaccines in Canada and internationally;
- translating the basic science of HIV vaccines into clinical trials, including technology development; and
- addressing the enabling conditions in Canada and internationally for HIV vaccine research and development.
An Advisory Board will provide governance and oversight to the Alliance and other HIV prevention activities. The role of the Advisory Board is to provide recommendations on projects to be funded to CHVI Ministers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and to oversee the implementation of the Alliance.
At the heart of the Alliance is the Alliance Coordinating Office. The Alliance Coordinating Office will focus on building and sustaining the Alliance, advising the Government of Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on research gaps, prospecting innovative proposals to respond to identified gaps and promoting synergy between Alliance members.
Since its inception, the CHVI has made important progress on a number of fronts. Some of the key successes of the CHVI include:
- providing $16 million in funding to Canada-Africa research teams to build capacity for HIV prevention trials;
- providing over $3 million in funding for projects to strengthen capacity and promote greater involvement and collaboration among researchers in Canada and developing countries;
- providing $2 million to the World Health Organization to strengthen regulatory capacity in developing countries;
- supporting Canadian researchers to focus on new ideas and novel approaches towards the development of a safe and effective vaccine;
- providing more than $500,000 in funding to strengthen Canada's contribution to HIV vaccine-related policy development and community engagement efforts;
- conducting research on key policy issues, and identifying opportunities for new HIV prevention technologies and private-public sector partnerships; and
- providing more than $750,000 to the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise to foster collaboration among their stakeholders; identify the latest scientific developments and gaps in HIV vaccine research; and further develop their global Scientific Strategic Plan.
The Government of Canada has committed $51 million since 2007 on CHVI programs.
The Government of Canada is investing up to $111 million in the CHVI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is contributing up to $28 million.
There are many steps on the road to an HIV vaccine from basic lab research, to developing a candidate vaccine, to testing it in regulated clinical trials, to finally getting it approved for use.
First established in 2007, the renewed CHVI will now be implementing new activities until 2017.
Supporting HIV prevention is essential while continuing to progress towards the goal of developing a safe and effective HIV vaccine.
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