Keywords: Infections; vaccines; immunology; AIDS; HIV; Tat protein; Env; Tat-Env complex; HIV entry; HIV neutralising antibodies
The goal of the VIAV programme is to develop a novel, broadly effective HIV/AIDS vaccine based on HIV Tat and Env protein complexes. VIAV is built upon an international consortium of European experts in the fields of HIV/AIDS protein structure and molecular modelling/docking, biochemistry, molecular biology, virology, immunology, vaccine development, GMP production, trial conduction and field studies.
Results obtained by the VIAV Consortium indicate that the HIV Tat protein increases HIV cell adsorption, infectivity and tropisms by interacting with components of the HIV membrane and envelope protein (Env). Because the interaction between Tat and Env may allow the generation of complex-specific, neutralisation-sensitive epitopes and/or the stabilisation of cryptic and/or transiently exposed Env epitopes, a vaccine based on Tat-Env complexes is likely to generate protective immune responses against vulnerable viral targets.
The aim of VIAV is to develop a highly innovative Tat-Env complex-based vaccine capable of inducing cross-clade neutralising antibodies against novel, neutralisation-sensitive Env epitopes to prevent HIV infection and/or AIDS progression. The VIAV aim will be achieved through new antigen design stemming out from novel virological, immunological and modeling data of the VIAV Consortium.
The VIAV project will allow the identification of novel HIV/AIDS vaccine immunogens and formulations for the induction of broad immunity against HIV. Tat-Env complexes will be characterised and used to immunise small animals, where vaccination is expected to be safe and immunogenic. Neutralising antibody responses will be also characterised and novel neutralisation-sensitive, complex-induced epitopes will be identified.
The VIAV programme will bring specific contributions to AIDS vaccine research and development in terms of innovative vaccine formulations. In particular, the exploitation of novel vaccine formulations based on newly-identified/produced protein complexes that are potentially relevant in the context of HIV natural infection may directly result from VIAV. VIAV is an ambitious project that will fit in the scientific effort aimed at developing innovative AIDS candidate vaccines, based on combinations of regulatory and structural viral proteins. VIAV is also linked to the AIDS Vaccine Integrated Project (AVIP), recently awarded by the EU Commission, for future product development and clinical testing.
|Official Address||Other Information|
|2||Banci Lucia||Consorzio Interuniversitario Risonanze Magnetiche di Metalloproteine |
Via L. Sacconi 6
IT-50019 Sesto Fiorentino
|Tel: +39 055 457 4263 |
Fax: +39 055 457 4253
|3||Eva Maria Fenyo||Lunds Universitet |
|Tel: +46 46 17 3275 |
Fax: +46 46 17 6033
|4||Dag Helland||Universitetet I Bergen |
|Tel: +47 55 58 45 19 |
Fax: +47 55 58 96 83
|5||Elisa Gargiulo||DIATHEVA srl |
Viale Piceno 137/F
|Tel: +39 0721 830 605 |
Fax: +39 0721 837 154