Welcome!

News Feed Item

Scientists Find New Point of Attack on HIV for Vaccine Development

NEW YORK, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have discovered a new vulnerable site on HIV that antibodies can attack to prevent infection from a broad range of the virus' many variants.

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative Logo

"HIV has very few known sites of vulnerability, but in this work we've described a new one, and we expect it will be useful in developing a vaccine," said Dennis R. Burton, professor in TSRI's Department of Immunology and Microbial Science and scientific director of the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center (NAC) and of the National Institutes of Health's Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID).

"HIV mutates very quickly, within the individual and across populations," said IAVI Chief Scientific Officer Wayne Koff. "This new target offers a stable mark for vaccine design, increasing the potential to find a vaccine that can provide broad, lasting protection to people around the world."

The findings, reported in two studies published online today and in the May issue of Immunity, are part of a large effort sponsored by IAVI and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop AIDS vaccines that can trigger the human immune system to produce broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs). Since 2009, researchers have: determined that a small proportion of HIV-infected individuals naturally generate bNAbs against a wide range of HIV variants; isolated scores of these bNAbs; identified a handful of regions they target on HIV; and found they can prevent HIV infection in non-human primates. The next step is to design immunogens to elicit these bNAbs in humans.

In the first study, a team of scientists from TSRI, IAVI and Theraclone Sciences, led by Dr. Burton, identified and described a promising new set of bNAbs, the PGT151 series, building on the Protocol G project that studied HIV-infected people who naturally produce bNAbs. The researchers found that two of the antibodies in the series could block infection by more than two-thirds of HIV strains found in patients worldwide.

In the second study, a team led by Ian A. Wilson, TSRI Hansen Professor of Structural Biology and chair of the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology, explored the newly identified target, which becomes the fifth well-characterized epitope, or binding site, on the surface of HIV.

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996, IAVI works with private companies, academics, and civil society partners in 25 countries to research, design, and develop AIDS vaccine candidates. In addition, IAVI conducts policy analyses and serves as an advocate for the AIDS vaccine field. IAVI supports a comprehensive approach to addressing HIV and AIDS that balances the expansion and strengthening of existing HIV-prevention and treatment programs with targeted investments in the design and development of new tools to prevent HIV. IAVI is dedicated to ensuring that a future AIDS vaccine will be available and accessible to all who need it.

IAVI's work is made possible by generous support from many donors including: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark; Irish Aid; the Ministry of Finance of Japan; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The full list of IAVI donors is available at www.iavi.org.

These studies were made possible in part by the generous support of the American people through USAID. USAID administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 120 countries worldwide. The contents are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

About the two Immunity Papers

"Broadly Neutralizing HIV Antibodies Define a Novel Glycan-dependent Epitope on the Pre-fusion Confirmation of gp41 on cleaved Envelope trimers" (E. Falkowska, A. Ramos, K.J. Doores et al., Immunity, May 2014): Researchers found a set of eight closely related antibodies, the PGT151 series, in the blood samples of an HIV-positive donor. Laboratory tests showed that two, PGT151 and PGT152, could block infection by more than two-thirds of HIV strains found in patients worldwide. Unlike other bNAbs, which bind to specific subunits comprising the HIV trimer ("conserved" or stable sites on HIV's surface envelope protein), PGT151 attaches to several different parts of the envelope protein. In fact, the binding site for PGT151 occurs only on mature and properly assembled trimer structures. This work expands upon the Protocol G project's isolation and characterization of other bNAbs discovered by IAVI, The Scripps Research Institute and Theraclone Sciences using Theraclone's I-STAR technology.

Funding for this study was provided by IAVI; the National Institutes for Health (grant AI33232, HIVRAD P01 AI82362); the NIH-funded Center for HIV / AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery (CHAVI-ID) (grant UM1AI100663); The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard; and the Aids Fonds Netherlands (grants #2011032, #2012041).

"Structural Delineation of a Quaternary, Cleavage-dependent Epitope at the gp41-gp120 interface on intact HIV-1 Env trimers" (C. Blattner, J.H. Lee, K. Sliepen, et al., Immunity, May 2014): Using electron microscopy and x-ray crystallography, researchers helped visualize the vulnerable binding site for the PGT151 series targeting gp41 and gp120, two subunits of the HIV envelope trimer. Specifically, researchers observed how PGT151 binds to one gp41 protein with two associated sugars (known as glycans), a patch on the gp120 protein and even a piece of adjacent gp41 within the trimer structure, a very complex epitope. Interestingly, PGT151 binding also stabilizes the trimer's fragile structure—a key breakthrough that will help vaccine developers better understand the molecular structure of binding sites targeted by potential vaccines.

Funding for this study was provided by IAVI; CHAVI-ID (UM1 AI100663); NIH (P30AI036214, HIVRAD P01 AI082362 and R01 AI084817); the University of California, San Diego Center for AIDS Research; The California HIV / AIDS Research Program; Aids Fonds Netherlands (grant #2011032); the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research; the European Research Council; and the German Academic Exchange Service.

About Protocol G

In 2006, IAVI and its Neutralizing Antibody Consortium launched the Protocol G project to search for bNAbs against HIV, partnering with clinical research centers in Africa, India, Thailand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More than 1,800 healthy, HIV-positive volunteers contributed blood samples to be screened. In 2009, scientists from IAVI, The Scripps Research Institute, and Theraclone Sciences collaborated to isolate and characterize the first new bNAbs to HIV seen in a decade and the first to be isolated from donors in developing countries, where the majority of new HIV infections occur. To date, more than 25 new bNAbs have been isolated and characterized from Protocol G specimens, and many have been shared with researchers across the AIDS vaccine field.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world's largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute's graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.

About Theraclone Sciences

Theraclone is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel, monoclonal antibody therapeutics for diseases that are devastating for patients and their families and which are a significant threat to human health. Theraclone leverages its proprietary antibody discovery technology, I-STARTM (In-Situ Therapeutic Antibody Rescue), to identify rare fully human antibodies, from immunologically relevant human subjects, that may be developed into antibody product candidates that are potentially safer and more effective than current therapies, or that address an unmet need. With a primary focus on cancer and infectious disease Theraclone has a portfolio of innovative antibody programs at preclinical and clinical development stage targeting serious medical conditions with a significant unmet medical need.

Media Inquiries

U.S. and Global

Africa

Europe

India

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131210/DC30761LOGO

SOURCE International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera M...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...