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HIV Cure Research Receives Financial Leg-Up from Gilead Sciences

OCT 16, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF
According to a press release issued by the biopharmaceutical giant, a second round of recipients will receive financial support towards their research on a cure for HIV. A total of 5 HIV cure research initiatives will receive $7.5 million as recipients of Gilead’s HIV cure grants program.

The following individuals and their organizations and corresponding projects will receive grants to help fund their activities:
  • Alexander Marson, MD, PhD, An Integrated CRISPR Platform to Discover Regulators of HIV Latency in Primary Human T Cells, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
  • Monsef Benkirane, PhD, Paving the Way Towards Elimination of HIV Persistent CD4T Cell In Vivo, Institute of Human Genetics, French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and University of Montpellier
  • Abraham L. Brass, MD, PhD, A CRISPR/Cas9 Screen to Discover HIV-1 Latency Factors, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jeffrey D. Lifson, MD, TLR Ligand Augmented, Tissue Homing AIDS Virus-Specific Adoptive Cell Therapy to Target Viral Reservoirs, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, AIDS and Cancer Virus Program
  • Joseph G. Sodroski, MD, Unlocking HIV-1 Env to Deplete Viral Reservoirs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
When speaking on the endowment of these new grants in the press release, William Lee, PhD, Executive Vice President, Research, Gilead Sciences stated, “Finding a cure for HIV is a formidable challenge to the scientific community. Together with our newest grant recipients, all of whom have a record of excellence in their research, we can take collective steps to help end this devastating epidemic. We are proud to support these leaders in HIV research and are confident in their ability to make meaningful and measurable contributions in this area of unmet medical need.”

The first set of grants in the HIV cure grants program were issued in January 2017. A total of 12 projects received what amounted to more than $22 million in grant funding.

Gilead Sciences is the manufacturer of Truvada, the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) prescription medication used to prevent transmission of HIV. According to the press release, “In further efforts to end the HIV epidemic, Gilead is conducting early-stage clinical research to identify novel agents and strategies that could play a role in eradicating HIV infection in the body.”
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