Poxvirus T Cell Vaccine Discovery Consortium

Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Duration: 1.8.2006 – 30.9.2014

Attenuated viruses are promising candidates as delivery system for HIV immunogens. Especially poxviruses are of interest due to their good immunological properties, like the avian poxvirus ALVAC used in the RV144 phase III Thai-Trial where a small protective effect was observed for the first time.
In collaboration with the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland) we are designing a panel of New York Vaccinia Virus (NYVAC)-based HIV vaccine candidates with the aim to increase their potency in eliciting HIV-specific T cell responses. For this, transgene expression is optimized and the ratio of  GagPolNef versus Env expression is modulated in order to balance the responses. Finally, the novel poxvirus-vectors are evaluated for increased immunogenicity (CTL responses) in small animal (mouse) models. The best-in-class immunogens will subsequently be assessed in non human primates and compared to other vaccination approaches (protein, DNA).

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