Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) seek research co-development or licenses for a method of stimulating an immune response in a human at risk for infection by, or already infected with, an HIV-1 retrovirus. This method utilizes DNA vaccines to stimulate CD8+ T cell immune responses.
The development of an effective HIV vaccine has been an ongoing area of research. The high variability in HIV-1 virus strains has represented a major challenge in successful development. Ideally, an effective candidate vaccine would provide protection against the majority of clades of HIV. Two major hurdles to overcome are immunodominance and sequence diversity. This vaccine utilizes a strategy for overcoming these two issues by identifying the conserved regions of the virus and exploiting them for use in a targeted therapy. NCI seeks licensees and/or research collaborators to commercialize this technology, which has been validated in macaque models.