Division of AIDS High-Priority Areas of Interest for Small Business

Scanning electron micrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell

Scanning electron micrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell.

Credit: NIAID

NIAID encourages Small Business applications that focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment research. The mission of the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) is to help ensure an end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic by increasing basic knowledge of the pathogenesis and transmission of HIV, and by supporting the development of therapies for HIV infection and its complications and co-infections, as well as vaccines and other prevention strategies.

The following topics from DAIDS are NIAID Small Business Program high-priority areas of interest. If you do not see your HIV/AIDS–related topic here, your funding application will still be reviewed, but it may not be prioritized.

If you have questions about these research topics or seek advice on the application process, please contact the specific subject matter experts as indicated. You may contact Brigitte Sanders with questions if an appropriate subject matter expert is not listed.

Subscribe to receive NIAID small business information and opportunity alerts at NIAID Email Updates. Open the Research Funding category, then open NIAID Funding Opportunities and select Small Business Awards (SBIR and STTR).

Subject Matter ExpertsAreas of Interest
Anjali Singh
Preclinical Research and Development Branch
Preclinical research to assess and overcome specific biomedical obstacles in HIV vaccine discovery, especially by application of innovative technologies, and/or by the development and supply of novel reagents/resources useful for advancing original vaccine platforms, including monoclonal antibody discovery and development for the prevention of HIV infection.
Michael Pensiero
Vaccine Translational Research Branch (VTRB)
HIV vaccine translational research to advance innovative vaccine concepts and scalable unit operations into the development of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP)–manufactured products. VTRB’s efforts to accelerate the development of preventive HIV-1 vaccines involve identifying, supporting, and advancing (a) cell line development to increase Env expression, production, quality, and yield; (b) evaluation of phase-appropriate upstream and downstream manufacturing processes; (c) scalable and prototype process development and purification platforms; (d) cGMP manufacturing of a broad portfolio of vaccine products ranging from complex HIV Env protein immunogens, nanoparticle-based vaccines, viral vectors, virus-like particles, nucleic acid-based vaccines (DNA and mRNA), and monoclonal antibodies for testing in early phase human clinical trials; (e) manufacturing new and/or alternative adjuvant analogs with similar agonist functions as those currently available for optimal immune response; (f) novel and emerging nanoparticle antigen and adjuvant delivery modalities and dosage forms, coformulation technologies, and platforms for immunization; (g) antigen-adjuvant formulation development, analytics development to support product characterization, in-process operations, release, and stability testing; and (h) preclinical safety, immunogenicity, and toxicology testing.
Milton Maciel
Vaccine Clinical Research Branch

Development of rapid diagnostic tests to distinguish HIV-vaccinated individuals and people living with HIV.

HIV Env immunogens formulated with immunological adjuvant(s): development of assays to ensure proper formulation, antigen/adjuvant integrity and potency, and characterization of immunological space post-vaccination.

Evaluation and monitoring of vaccine safety and efficacy by identifying biomarkers of safety, autoimmunity, inflammation, and immunogenicity.

James Cummins
Preclinical Microbicide and Prevention Research Branch

Preclinical development of single and combination non-vaccine biomedical prevention (nBP) candidates for sustained- and extended-release (SER) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and multipurpose prevention technologies (MPT) candidates to prevent the transmission of HIV in the genital and gastrointestinal tracts of men and women.

Development of oral, injectable, implantable, and topical SER delivery strategies for PrEP and MPT. Development of new strategies for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Creation and advancement of new technologies, targets, and approaches, including nanotechnology, which promote the safety, efficacy, adherence, and acceptability of nBP candidates and strategies.

Roberta Black
Clinical Prevention Research Branch

Discovery and development of agents or strategies for PrEP (single or multiple agents, immunological, pharmacological, or other potential approaches directed against viral and/or host targets).

Development of pharmacological tools to examine PK/PD in fluids and tissue, new formulation and delivery systems (including nanotechnology-based approaches) for coitally dissociated use, and optimization of animal models for screening of candidate agents.

Usha Sharma
Clinical Prevention Research Branch

Development of novel assays for the determination of HIV incidence. These diagnostic assays should identify HIV incidence in the first year of infection; be based on B and non-B subtypes; differentiate those with early vs. chronic HIV infection and latent infection; and include the development, incorporation, and validation of process controls.

Development of novel tools or modification of existing approaches to monitor adherence and facilitate delivery of targeted interventions to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), PrEP, and other HIV prevention interventions and strategies.

Marina Protopopova
Drug Development and Clinical Sciences Branch

Development of formulation strategies to deliver antiretrovirals to specific target cells or tissues.

Development of sustained-release formulations to be delivered by oral, injectable, implantable, or transdermal routes of administration for the treatment of HIV infection.

Chris Lambros
Complications and Co-Infections Research Branch
Preclinical and clinical research to evaluate new or improved therapies or diagnostics for the treatment and prevention of HIV-related serious infectious and non-infectious complications in HIV-infected adults.
Brigitte Sanders
Targeted Interventions Branch
Small-molecule inhibitors of viral and cellular targets; nanotechnology-based therapeutics; HIV gene therapies, including vector design; assays to measure the latent HIV reservoir; novel immune-based therapeutics; animal models for HIV therapeutics; and cure strategies.
Richard Hafner
Tuberculosis Clinical Research Branch

Development of novel methods for the diagnosis of active and latent tuberculosis (TB) infection in HIV-positive or HIV-negative infants and children.

Development of prognostic biomarkers for determining risk of developing active TB and predicting treatment response.

Development of rapid testing for susceptibility of multiple antimycobacterial drugs for Mycobacterium tuberculosis from clinical samples.

Naana Cleland
Drug Development and Clinical Sciences Branch

Development and evaluation of practical and affordable tests to measure viral load, drug toxicities, and drug resistance to monitor populations in resource-poor settings.

Development of tests to detect early infection in seropositive HIV-infected adult and pediatric individuals.

Keith Crawford
Drug Development and Clinical Sciences Branch
Development of rapid tests for the detection of antiretrovirals in various human matrices (e.g., blood, urine, hair). The assays should require minimal operator effort and expertise and include the development, incorporation, and validation of process controls.

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