February 19, 2010
The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) was established in 2007 to help accelerate global efforts to develop a safe, effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccine.
Since 2007, the CHVI has endeavoured to address critical gaps identified in the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise's Scientific Strategic Plan (SSP) published in 2005, by supporting leading edge discovery and social research, building strong working relationships with international partners and increasing engagement of local communities in this important work.
One of the gaps identified in 2005 was a lack of pilot-scale manufacturing to produce HIV vaccines for clinical trials in North America. As a result, the CHVI committed to dedicate significant funding for the establishment of a pilot-scale manufacturing facility in Canada with additional funds committed from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In April 2008, the Government of Canada and the Gates Foundation invited applications from not-for-profit corporations to establish a pilot-scale manufacturing facility in Canada.
A thorough, evidence-based review of all applications was completed. This included an internal review and external review by an international expert panel. None of the applicants were found to be successful in meeting the pre-established criteria.
As part of the due diligence process, a study commissioned by the Gates Foundation to analyse current vaccine manufacturing capacity concluded that there is currently sufficient vaccine manufacturing capacity in North America and Europe to meet research needs. This is good news for the HIV vaccine field. This report is available upon request to the CHVI Secretariat.
After weighing all of the evidence, the Government of Canada and the Gates Foundation have decided not to proceed with the pilot-scale vaccine manufacturing facility. Other CHVI programs are unaffected by this decision and will continue to move forward.
As with any initiative, we need to ensure that proposals meet application criteria and represent value for money for our respective organizations, as well as Canadian taxpayers. Capacity for scientific research is evolving globally and the Government of Canada must invest its resources where they will be most effective in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Moving forward, the Government of Canada and the Gates Foundation will continue to work together to fund HIV prevention and remain committed to the previously announced funding levels over five years - up to $111 million from the Government of Canada and up to $28 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Both parties remain committed to accelerating the development of safe, effective, accessible and affordable HIV vaccines, as one of our key priorities.
Given the importance of our objectives, we are examining all options and will take the time needed to ensure that the direction we take and the activities we choose to support yield the best possible results. Further details will be provided once the areas of investment have been further defined.
The first of the CHVI discovery and social research (DSR) funding opportunities, the Operating Grants were launched in June 2008 by CIHR. The second of the DSR funding opportunities, the Catalyst Grants , launched in August 2008 by CIHR, are intended as short-term seed money to support Canadian researchers involved in innovative HIV vaccines-related research activities.
Discovery and Social Research
Application Form CALL CLOSED
Community Initiatives Fund
pilot-scale Manufacturing Capacity for HIV Vaccine Clinical Trial Lots
Policy and Regulatory Issues, Community and Social Dimensions