See the Glossary for more terms.
Concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, requests for applications, or solicitations for Council's input. If NIAID publishes an initiative from one of these concepts, we link to it below. To find initiatives, go to the Opportunities and Announcements portal.
NB: Council approval does not guarantee that a concept will become an initiative.
For the published request for applications, see the February 18, 2014, Guide announcement, Innovation for HIV Vaccine Discovery (R01).
For the published request for applications, see the February 20, 2014, Guide announcement, Prevention Innovation Program (PIP) (R01).
Request for Applications
Contact: James Turpin
Objective: Halt the spread of HIV infection by defining highly effective prevention strategies, including a preventive vaccine.
Description: The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to stimulate research to better understand and optimize the interaction of genital (female and male) and gastrointestinal tract mucosa with nonvaccine biomedical prevention (nBP) candidates and strategies with the long-term goal of enhancing the safety and efficacy of HIV prevention interventions. For the purposes of this initiative, nBP will include topical microbicides, preexposure prophylaxis, and multipurpose prevention technology candidates and strategies. Mucosal Environment and HIV Prevention (MEHP) is not designed to develop new prevention active pharmaceutical agents (APIs) or delivery devices, but to use APIs, delivery vehicles, and strategies that comprise prevention approaches under development as tools to assess changes in mucosal target cells and tissues which might alter product/strategy safety and/or lead to increased or decreased susceptibility to HIV acquisition/transmission. The MEHP II addresses three areas of interest required to develop the knowledge base to support the rational design of "mucosal friendly" prevention strategies:
Request for Proposals
Contact: Craig Heggestad
Description: This initiative will provide resources for synthesizing promising microbicides and compounds for treating HIV, opportunistic infections, TB, and other infectious diseases of relevance to the research agenda of DAIDS. The synthesis contract will synthesize chemicals, in compliance with current FDA good manufacturing practice regulations, in quantities needed for testing in either in vitro screens, animals, or early phase I clinical studies. The initiative's goal is to further the development of promising compounds by providing resources to investigators who have not identified a corporate sponsor so that they might address specific, applied drug development issues.
Contact: Sudha Srinivasan
Objective: Establish treatment and prevention strategies for HIV-associated infections of highest morbidity and mortality, especially tuberculosis (TB).
Description: Recent work on host-pathogen interaction/host immunity suggests that host-directed therapy (immunomodulators) could lead to shorter treatment and improved outcomes by modifying TB-induced immune effects and/or by decreasing local tissue pathology and bacterial sanctuaries, particularly in the setting of HIV infection. This initiative will support limited preclinical work needed to advance host-directed therapeutic strategies for TB into proof-of-concept clinical trials. Agents that may also have therapeutic activity against HIV either directly or by enhancing immunologic reactions are of particular interest. Preclinical studies in animal models that are known to have the most similarity in immunologic mechanisms to humans (e.g., nonhuman primates) are encouraged. Types of agents that may be studied include small-molecule agents that modulate destructive immune-mediated inflammatory responses (cytokine inhibitors, eicosanoid synthesis pathway inhibitors, etc.), agents to allow host immune cells to prevent or inhibit cell entry and survival of TB through reversal of functional defects (e.g., autophagy enhancement), stimulate the immune clearance of TB, or directly protect tissues from inflammatory damage. A plan for a proof-of-concept clinical trial is required.
To be responsive to this RFA, applications must:
For the published request for applications, see the December 13, 2013, Guide announcements, U.S.-South Africa Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research (R21) and U.S.-South Africa Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research (R01) and the January 24, 2014, Guide announcement, U.S.-South Africa Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research (U01).
Contact: Eileen Webster-Cissel
Objective: The goal of this SBIR contract solicitation is to support small businesses interested in developing novel and innovative technologies to quantify adherence to the clinical trial strategy used in HIV prevention clinical trials. Applicants may propose to develop innovative biomedical, electronic, and/or analytical technologies that are independent of subject reporting biases to determine clinical trial product/strategy adherence. Proposed approaches should be accurate and reproducible and, ideally, able to quantify a subject’s adherence when used either remotely by trial participants, during clinical study visits, or within one week of a study visit. Technologies must quantify adherence to the placebo(s) and the study drug(s). Proposals to further develop or optimize MEMS caps, Wisebags™, and applicator staining methods are not responsive to this solicitation. Behavioral/social determinations of product use/adherence as comparators to demonstrate efficiency, accuracy, and/or fidelity of the methods under development are appropriate for incorporation into proposals. The developed methods, strategies, and/or instrumentation should be cost effective and have a defined regulatory pathway, and should not significantly increase participant or site personnel burden.
Description: The critical role of adherence in providing reliable estimates of product and/or strategy efficacy in preventing HIV transmission was recently highlighted by the outcome of the VOICE trial. This five-arm trial (oral Tenofovir, oral Truvada, oral placebo, 1 percent Tenofovir vaginal gel, and gel placebo) required the daily use of products by women at risk for HIV infection. As reported at CROI 2013, the VOICE study failed to confirm the efficacy of 1 percent Tenofovir gel and oral Truvada observed in previous clinical trials. Multiple measures of adherence (self-reports, pill and applicator counts) were incorporated into the VOICE trial and they suggested high overall adherence (>90 percent). However, less than 30 percent of the women had detectable levels of drug in their plasma at study visits. The results suggest that current approaches to measuring adherence are not capturing product use accurately. Although many biological, behavioral, and social factors may influence adherence, there is a critical need for accurate, real-time methods to quantify product adherence independent of trial participant bias.
Objective: The goal of this solicitation is to develop an effective oral dosing formulation or modification of licensed antibiotics that are currently available only as intravenously or parenterally-administered formulations, specifically, capreomycin, meropenem, imepenem, or vancomycin. Considerations for formulation may also include mitigation of adverse drug reactions. An example is an oral formulation of capreomycin that maintains efficacy while possibly decreasing adverse events (nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity) for use as part of a drug regimen for treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). A second example is an oral formulation of vancomycin that allows for systemic absorption in order to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Description: Multidrug-resistant pathogens such as MDR-TB, gonorrhea, and staphylococcus are increasingly challenging to treat. Currently existing drugs for treating MDR-TB are only moderately potent, show restrictions with absorption or oral bioavailability, and have toxicity profiles that make patient management difficult. There are two important classes of injectable drugs for TB: aminoglycosides (amikacin and kanamycin) and polypeptides (capreomycin). Capreomycin is recommended for use in cases of known or suspected resistance to the aminoglycosides and seems to have activity against nonreplicating persister bacilli, unlike aminoglycosides. However, it is painful to receive by injection and is associated with severe systemic side effects, including nephrotoxicity and ototoxicity. Similarly, treatment of drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an escalating public health concern due to the unavailability of oral dosage forms of antibiotics that are efficacious for this infection. Effective treatment of MRSA is also challenging to manage because it requires long-term intravenous administration of vancomycin. Oral formulations of licensed antibiotics to treat these and other bacterial pathogens of public health importance are wanted, particularly to address the growing incidence of drug resistant infections.
Objective: The goal of this solicitation is to develop an inexpensive, easy-to-use assay that will detect the presence or absence of five common HIV drug resistance mutations in blood samples from patients failing HAART regimens in resource-limited countries.
Description: Antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited countries generally includes two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and one non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). While these HAART regimens are very potent and reduce viral load to undetectable levels in most patients, drug resistance occurs in some patients after long-term therapy. The WHO has published a report of HIV resistance including data from 40 surveys conducted in 12 countries from 2006 to 2012. These surveys indicate that there are resistance mutations that predominate among patients failing therapy after 12 months. These mutations include the NNRTI resistance mutations K103N and Y181C, the tenofovir and d4T resistance mutation K65R, the 3TC/FTC resistance mutation M184V, and the most common thymidine analog resistance mutation D67N. The ability to quickly and easily detect these five mutations after virological failure could help optimize second line therapy regimens.
Last Updated February 27, 2014
Last Reviewed December 16, 2013