RESEARCH NETWORK FOR INFECTOGENOMICS
I6 I6 - HIV-vaccine development
In this project the unique specifity of chemokines will be deployed to develop new adjuvants for therapeutic application. These small chemotactic cytokines are supposed to recruit leukocytes of different developmental stages, particularly macrophages and dendritic cells to the site of antigen invasion to initiate a specific and enhanced immune response. The major focus is to find out to what extend the selected chemokines may act as natural adjuvants for a HIV-vaccine in terms of modulating the adaptive immune response, having a long-lasting impact on effector functions and downregulating the susceptibility of CD4+ cells for HIV by blocking the HIV-coreceptors. An economic incentive are the gained insights of the stimulatory functions of chemokines on different immune cells, resulting in the improvement of existing vaccines or in the design of new antiviral reagents. Considering the fact that over 50 million people worldwide are HIV-infected the urgency and the necessity of an effective preventive and/or therapeutic vaccine is apparent. The GeneArt Gmbh, located in Regensburg close to Germanies biotech-hotspot Munich, is already involved into Europe`s largest research cluster that aims to develop and evaluate a broad panel of consistent HIV-1 candidate vaccines for clinical trials. Joining the Forimmune cluster will allow GeneArt to broaden it`s basic technology platform by aspects of enhanced in vivo gene expression and targeted modulation of immune responses.