TIP-VAC - Explaining and Improving Efficacy of targeted Immunodeficiency Virus-like Particles against AIDS
With support from two successive, framework V, EU sponsored consortia, we have developed a targeted immunodeficiency virus-like particle vaccine (VLP) which has the G-protein of vesicular stomatitis virus incorporated in the membrane of the particle. This should increase uptake and presentation of VLPs by dendritic cells. A pilot vaccination experiment in the SIV/macaque model provided strong protection against challenge with a pathogenic SIV. Given the urgent need for an HIV vaccine, the potential of this innovative vaccine approach should be evaluated as quickly as possible. Therefore, the aims of the current STREP application of the consortium are 1) to determine the efficacy of the VLPs in a larger number of animals, 2) to better understand the requirements for and the mechanisms of protection, and 3) to further improve the targeted VLPs. The STREP should thus also provide critical information to design evidence-based phase I/II clinical trials with targeted VLPs.