Investment in Cure Research: 2015 Shows a Continued Positive Trend for HIV Cure Funding

Estimates for global investments more than doubled in past four years.

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 estimates for cure research investment from 2012 to 2015.

The Working Group estimates that in 2015, US$201.8 million was invested in cure research, representing a substantial increase of 25% over the US$160.8 million invested in 2014, and an increase of 129% over the US$88.1 million invested in 2012. The majority of investments (US$187.7  million) came from the public sector with US$14.73 million invested by philanthropies such as amfAR, CANFAR, Fair Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust.  Despite outreach by the Working Group this year, only two companies 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 2015, the United States through the US National Institutes of Health contributed the majority of public funding, with France, the European Union, Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia also being significant contributors to HIV cure research.

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

    At the end of 2014, a new international scientific working group was convened to update and revise the Global Scientific Strategy: Towards an HIV Cure. The 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

    Announcement of newly funded Martin Delaney Collabratories by the National Institutes of Health.

  • amfAR Countdown to a Cure for AIDS

    amfAR begins investments over six years aimed at finding a broadly applicable cure for HIV by 2020 with partners Qura Therapeutics and University of California, San Francisco.

  • GSK/UNC HIV Cure Center

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and GSK, announced in 2015 the creation of the dedicated HIV Cure center and a jointly owned new company that will focus on discovering a cure for HIV/AIDS funded by GSK at $4 million per year for five years.

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.

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 includes the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as members.