IAVI has worked with partners to establish a state-of-the- art research and development program to design and evaluate new HIV vaccine candidates, and a variety of policy, advocacy and communication initiatives to sustain global support for AIDS vaccine research. IAVI continued in 2012 to make significant advances toward the development of safe and effective HIV vaccines, expanding the clinical pipeline and accelerating vaccine design and screening.
In vaccine discovery, we work with a global network of research institutions, academic and public laboratories, and bioscience companies ( page 20). Our network includes IAVI's AIDS Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory in New York, and the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center in La Jolla, California, which also serves as the headquarters of the Neutralizing Antibody Consortium (NAC) overseen by IAVI. The recently established HIV Vaccine Design Program at the HIV Vaccine Translational Research(HVTR) Laboratory in India contributes to these efforts. IAVI's Human Immunology Laboratory in London, meanwhile, works with our medical affairs team and a global network of clinical research centers, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa, to conduct clinical research studies aimed at improving the pipeline of HIV vaccine candidates.
In 2012, IAVI continued to refine its portfolio to support the most promising strategies of vaccine design. IAVI and its partners have over the past decade designed 22 novel HIV vaccine candidates, of which 13 have been assessed in 25 clinical trials conducted in Belgium, Germany, India, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Zambia.
In recent years, IAVI's research and development networks have advanced some of the field's most exciting new vaccine concepts—pioneering strategies to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against HIV and targeting immune responses in tissues where HIV first establishes itself.
In 2012, based on seminal discoveries made by NAC researchers, we shifted our focus to the preclinical development of vaccine candidates to elicit bNAbs, evaluating more than 60 candidate immunogens of this kind, and selecting two to advance into preclinical development. Researchers at and affiliated with IAVI also completed two early stage vaccine trials and reached the final stages of a third evaluating IAVI's Ad35 vector in combined regimens with a variety of other candidates.
To prepare for upcoming trials of novel HIV vaccine candidates, two IAVI-affiliated research centers refined their expertise in assessing immune responses in mucosal tissues, which line inner body cavities. The clinical network supported by IAVI made significant progress in identifying key populations at risk of HIV and determining the incidence and risk factors for HIV infection, identifying the types of infecting virus and the immune responses they induce.
IAVI's global advocacy, policy and communications program, conducted in partnership with AVAC and other advocacy and civil society organizations, seeks to ensure that AIDS vaccine development remains high on the global health agenda as part of a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention. In 2012, our joint efforts helped give prominence to developing new tools for HIV prevention in a number of national and international strategic plans and forums addressing the AIDS crisis and related global health issues.