DARE and HOPE Martin Delaney Collaboratories receive $28M and $26.5M NIH Awards

CFAR is delighted to congratulate the two new Martin Delaney Collaboratory awardees affiliated with our CFAR: DARE and HOPE!

The National Institutes of Health has awarded approximately $53 million in annual funding over the next five years to research organizations in a continued effort to find a cure for HIV. The HOPE and DARE Collaboratories are 2 of the 10 groups awarded a 5-year grant under the Martin Delaney Collaboratories program, the major NIH program on HIV cure research launched in 2010 in honor of the late HIV/AIDS activist Martin Delaney, who served on NIAID’s AIDS Research Advisory Committee. The goal of the program is to expedite HIV cure research by bringing together researchers from multiple academic institutions, as well as the private sector, community and government partners to share common resources, data and methodologies.

The first CFAR-affiliated group, the Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise to Cure HIV (DARE) Collaboratory, received their second renewal of $28M over 5 years to develop a viable combination regimen that reduces the rebound-competent HIV/SIV reservoir during antiretroviral therapy (ART) and/or induces durable control of HIV/SIV in the absence of therapy.

Image of Steve Deeks
“We have two broadly defined goals.” states Steve Deeks, MD. “First, we believe and will seek to prove that effective remission strategies will require organization of a robust innate and adaptive immune response during the earliest stages of virus rebound, effectively intercepting and suppressing viral rebound prior to the massive systemic growth of SIV/HIV that overwhelms, damages and/or evades the immune system.”

“Second, we have found that infected cells are relatively resistant to cell death programs. We will develop therapies that render these cells to host-mediated clearance mechanisms, thus resulting in their reduction and perhaps elimination.”

To achieve these goals, they have assembled a large multi-disciplinary and multi-national team of virologists, immunologists, and clinicians. Rachel Rutishauser will be leading our efforts aimed at defining in people the immunologic pathways that predict post-treatment control. Other key investigators from UCSF include Tim Henrich and David Glidden. Most of the program's investigators will be working with Becky Hoh and the CFAR-supported SCOPE cohort. This cohort has been and will remain the center for much of the program's science.

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The second group, newly-funded at $26.5M over 5 years, known as the HIV Obstruction by Programmed Epigenetics (HOPE) Collaboratory, will be led by researchers at Gladstone Institutes, Scripps Research Florida, and Weill Cornell Medicine. Their approach, which aims to both silence and permanently remove HIV from the body (aka “block and lock”), takes advantage of knowledge about how other viruses have become naturally inactivated over time.

Image of Melanie Ott
“This is a fundamentally different approach to targeting HIV than what everyone else has been trying,” says Melanie Ott, MD, PhD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Virology, and the program director and a principal investigator of the HOPE Collaboratory. “I think it’s extremely important for us to explore a broad range of scientific approaches to find the best cure for people living with HIV, as quickly as we can.”

Other key investigators from the Gladstone Institutes include Nadia Roan and former CFAR Co-Director, Warner Greene, as well as former CFAR CNIHR awardee, Lishomwa Ndhlovu, now at Weill Cornell Medicine.