February 5, 2014
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), both part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced a major research funding opportunity designed to spur innovative academic-private sector research collaborations to develop novel approaches to eliminate HIV. NIAID and NHLBI expect to fund three to six grants for a total of roughly $11.2 million per year for five years through the new request for applications (RFA).
Scientific advances in recent years have led to growing optimism that an HIV cure is an attainable goal. In December 2013, the NIH announced it would invest an additional $100 million over a three-year period toward this goal, which includes research that focuses on sustained remission, that is maintaining undetectable virus levels in the absence of antiretroviral therapy, as well as completely eliminating the virus from the body.
The new RFA, called "Beyond HAART: Innovative Approaches to Cure HIV-1," will support investigators who have three to four interrelated, research projects that combine basic science and preclinical research with translational research, such as test-of-concept studies in animals or humans.
Areas of interest include, but are not limited to
- Cell-based approaches, including those based on hematopoietic stem cells, transplantation and new methods to enhance cell expansion and persistence of transferred cells
- Novel gene therapy approaches, including research on new viral and host targets, delivery systems and targeting of relevant cells
- Non-traditional antiviral strategies, such as miRNAs, siRNAs and gene-editing enzymes; targeting and delivery of same
- Test-of-concept studies carried out in animals or humans
NIAID and NHLBI will accept applications through July 28, 2014. For more information about the RFA, see Beyond HAART: Innovative Approaches to Cure HIV-1 (U19).