Investment in Cure Research: 2016 shows a continued positive trend for HIV cure funding


In 2013, the IAS HIV Cure resource tracking group joined forces with AVAC acting on behalf of the Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention R&D to estimate global investments in HIV cure research.  To date, this collaboration has yielded five years of estimates for cure research investment from 2012 to 2016.

The Working Group estimates that in 2016, US$268 million was invested in cure research, representing a substantial increase of 33% over the US$201.8 million invested in 2015, and an increase of 204% over the US$88.1 million invested in 2012. The majority of investments (US$253.2  million) came from the public sector with US$13.8 million invested by philanthropies such as Aidsfonds, amfAR, CANFAR, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sidaction and Wellcome Trust.  Despite outreach by the Working Group this year, only one company fully responded to the survey, whilst several companies are known to have active cure research programmes,  resulting in a signficant underestimation for commercial investment in cure research.


In 2016, the United States through the US National Institutes of Health contributed the majority of public funding, with the European Commission, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Japan also being contributors to HIV cure research.

In 2015, non-US countries invested 14% of global HIV cure research funding, while in 2016, the proportional investment of these countries decreased to 6% of global HIV cure research due largely to the increase in US investment.

The successful implementation of the Global Scientific Strategy plan will require improved international scientific collaborative research teams and institutions at the international level to ensure an optimal use of resources.  Active initiatives include:

  • IAS Towards an HIV cure initiative
    he revised IAS Global Scientific Strategy: Towards an HIV Cure 2016, published in Nature Medicine, was launched in Durban at the AIDS 2016 conference.
  • Martin Delaney Collabratories
    The National Institutes of Health awarded $30 million in annual funding over the next five years among six research collaborations working to advance basic medical science toward an HIV cure.
  • amfAR Countdown to a Cure for AIDS
    amfAR ramps up its investments aimed at finding the scientific underpinnings of a cure by 2020.

The inclusion of “cure” in the global response should not direct funding away from treatment, prevention and care programmes, or from biomedical research on HIV and its consequences, including vaccine and other prevention research. However, it is imperative that donors, governments and the AIDS community make a viable  and sustained economic investment in HIV cure research.

Acknowledgements

The IAS Towards an HIV Cure initiative would like to thank Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention R&D, for which AVAC acts as Secretariat, and also includes the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as members.