IrsiCaixa values the economic support of philanthropy in the development process of the therapeutic vaccine against HIV. The Fundació Glòria Soler supported the project at a key moment for its development, currently backed by the first results that demonstrate its effectiveness.
“Philanthropy is one of the key sources at this early stage as it acts as seed money, the first money that comes in and allows you to start growing the project,” says Christian Brander, ICREA researcher at IrsiCaixa and scientific director of AELIX Therapeutics. In this sense, the help of the Fundació Glòria Soler was essential.
“For us it is essential that entities, people and companies believe in our research and, with their solidarity, act as promoters of change.” Christian Brander, ICREA researcher at IrsiCaixa and scientific director of AELIX Therapeutics.
The scientific community has been working for years to develop a therapeutic HIV vaccine that stimulates the immune system to control the virus without the need for treatment, i.e. to achieve a functional cure. In addition to immense scientific background work, it takes time and financial support to build up projects of this scale.
Once one of the most important hurdles has been overcome, which is to make the scientific discovery and gather evidence of its potential as a vaccine, it is necessary to obtain financial support to be able to produce the drug and take it to clinical trials, which are extremely long and costly steps. In order to move the project forward, AELIX Therapeutics was founded and both public and private funding sources were sought.
The case of AELIX Therapeutics is a success story. The results of the first trial, published in the journal Nature Medicine, have shown that the vaccine is safe and provides partial control of the virus in 40% of participants who have received the vaccine once they are temporarily taken off antiretroviral therapy. 97% of those given the vaccine have at least doubled the specific immune response against the vulnerable parts of viruses included in HTI vaccines.
IrsiCaixa Report: What is needed to develop a therapeutic HIV vaccine?Report