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GW Serves as Site for HIV Vaccine Trial

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) is one of only two sites chosen for the first clinical trial of the eOD-GT8 60mer HIV vaccine candidate, sponsored by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

David Diemert, MD, associate professor of medicine at SMHS, will serve as the principal investigator for the site and Jeffrey Bethony, PhD, professor of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at SMHS, will direct specimen processing and biorepository efforts for the trial at GW.

Close up of antibodies

The HIV vaccine candidate was developed with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery, and Scripps Research. It is intended to stimulate the immune system to initiate a key first step in the generation of potent proteins, known as broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), against HIV.

“Evidence has shown that bNAbs are likely the most promising way to protect against HIV infection,” said Diemert. “They have been shown to effectively neutralize many diverse strains of the virus in the laboratory.”