HIVACAT: HIV Vaccine Development

Partnership objectives

  1. To develop a prophylactic vaccine against HIV/AIDS.
  2. To develop a therapeutic vaccine against HIV/AIDS.
  3. To foster innovation in the HIV and the vaccine fields.

Scientists expect AIDS vaccine activates the immune system blocking infection and even, educate the body to recognize and destroy infected cells. Scientists expect AIDS vaccine activates the immune system blocking infection and even, educate the body to recognize and destroy infected cells. Copyright HIVACAT

What are the health needs and challenges?

The development of an effective vaccine is the only affordable and sustainable way to halt the HIV pandemic.

Description of partnership activities and how they address the needs and challenges

In response to this challenge, the HIVACAT program was launched to design, develop and test potential HIV vaccine candidates in clinical trials for further development and regulatory approval. HIVACAT is a joint effort of two leading European HIV research institutions in Barcelona – The Hospital Clinic and Irsicaixa, and the pharmaceutical company, Esteve. This consortium also has the support of the Obra Social “La Caixa” Foundation (“Fundació la Caixa”) and two organizations of the government of the Generalitat de Catalunya (the Department of Health and the Department of Innovation, Universities and Companies). HIVACAT brings together the expertise and projects of more than 60 investigators from The Hospital Clinic and Irsicaixa, in addition to multiple international collaborations with leading HIV research organizations and institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.

Esteve's involvement consists in providing expertise in intellectual property, regulatory affairs, GMP production, GLP regulatory studies, and other aspects of preclinical and clinical development, in addition to providing funding.

The program tackles some of the current roadblocks in HIV vaccine design, including the incomplete knowledge of host immune control of HIV, viral sequence diversity and adequate vaccine vector design. Overall, the program focuses in a holistic approach (“from bench to bed”) structured in 8 highly interactive lines of investigation that address topics of cellular and humoral immunity to HIV and their relationship with viral control, assess the impact of viral sequence diversity and host genetics on vaccine immunogen design, neutralizing antibodies, and study the function of dendritic cells as vaccine carriers. It contains a straightforward path to design preventive vaccine approaches and select the most promising candidates for clinical trials. The work is strongly supported by a unique patient and sample source access (created over more than 15 years) and the combination of innovative approaches in HIV vaccine design with the technical expertise of an extensive number of well-established researchers in HIV immunology, immunopathogenesis, and virology. Important papers on the research in HIVACAT have been published.


Josep Maria Gatell and Bonaventura Clotet, Directors of HIVACAT

Partnership information

Company(ies) Esteve

Partner(s) Catalan Government, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, IrsiCaixa, Obra Social La Caixa

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) HIV/AIDS

Program Type(s) Prevention Programs - Vaccines, Research & Development - Development of Treatments

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Men, Mothers, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, North America, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 118

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Research Country(ies) Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Spain, Sri Lanka

Start Date 2008

More information HIVACAT

Anticipated completion date Ongoing