The HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) is the world’s largest publicly funded international collaboration facilitating the evaluation of vaccines to prevent HIV/AIDS. The HVTN helps advance the fields of vaccinology, social and behavioral sciences, statistics, and immunology, as well as tuberculosis and COVID-19 vaccines.
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The HVTN’s mission is to fully characterize the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of HIV vaccine candidates with the goal of developing a safe, effective vaccine as rapidly as possible for prevention of HIV globally. Funding is provided by public and private sources. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is the primary funder and sponsor of the majority of trials conducted by the HVTN. The Network’s clinical research sites are located at leading research institutions in over in 16 countries on four continents. Internationally renowned researchers in HIV vaccines and prevention lead these units and contribute to the Network’s scientific agenda. The Network’s headquarters are at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Washington.
To date, the Network has conducted the majority of the published, presented, or ongoing clinical trials of preventive HIV vaccines worldwide. In the process, we have gained tremendous experience in implementing an innovative global scientific organization, which combines the intellectual robustness and creativity of academia with the focus and infrastructure of industry.
The HVTN is comprised of the Leadership and Operations Center (LOC), Laboratory Center (LC), Statistical and Data Management Center (SDMC), study clinics , and participants and communities. Each of these components is necessary to conduct our clinical trials.
Main Areas of Focus
HIV Vaccines - The HVTN vaccine pipeline is currently focused on vaccine regimens that elicit broadly neutralizing antibody (bnAb) responses. An antibody that neutralizes HIV binds to proteins on the surface of the virus and blocks HIV’s ability to bind and infect CD4+ T cells. Neutralizing antibodies are considered ‘broad’ by their ability to neutralize multiple strains of HIV. Recent technological advances have accelerated progress in the isolation and characterization of several different classes of HIV-specific bnAbs. With that information in hand, we can design vaccines that specifically stimulate the production of those bnAbs.
Broadly Neutralizing Antibody (bnAb) Research - In recent years, the HVTN has paved the way in studying a technique called passive antibody transfer, which involves giving antibodies directly to an HIV-negative person by injections or infusions. Through the AMP Studies, the HVTN determined a broadly neutralizing antibody called VRC01 was effective at preventing the acquisition of HIV to 75 percent of HIV strains that were sensitive to the bnAb. This work has led to further study of combinations of bnAbs that may be more potent or have greater breadth of neutralization.
Tuberculosis (TB) Research - In partnership with the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (IMPAACT), the HVTN is conducting an integrated clinical trials program including immunological, microbiological, and diagnostic technologies to enhance the TB vaccine field globally by evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of TB vaccines.
COVID-19 Research - As the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic began, the HVTN was asked to apply its community engagement, clinical, statistical, and operational infrastructure to rapidly implement and analyze the U.S. government-supported Phase 3 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN), funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was formed in spring 2020 to create a coordinated, efficient and scientifically rigorous approach to conduct COVID-19 vaccine efficacy trials and help end the pandemic.
- HVTN Executive Management Team
- HVTN Science Governance Committee
- DAIDS Vaccine Research Program and Vaccine Clinical Research Branch