Canadian human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine initiative

Canadian HIV vaccine initiative and Canadian HIV technology development program

The Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) is a $139 million collaboration between the Government of Canada (GoC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), with contributions of $111 million and $28 million respectively.  The initiative is intended to contribute to the global effort to develop safe, effective, affordable and globally accessible HIV vaccines. The Alliance Coordinating Office (ACO) provides administrative support to the CHVI, and leads and promotes the CHVI Research and Development Alliance. 

As a founding partner in the GoC’s contribution to CHVI, Industry Canada (IC) has created the $13 million Canadian HIV Technology Development (CHTD) program to encourage Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the development of an HIV vaccine and other technologies related to the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of HIV.  The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) delivers the program, and continues to receive project proposals. 

Between the start of the program in April 2011 and February 2014, about $10.1 million has been committed to 23 projects.  Examples of projects supported by CHTD includes:

  • New, faster and more sensitive HIV diagnostics;
  • Development of novel preventative and therapeutic vaccines;
  • Development of small molecule therapeutics;
  • Identification of new targets for immunotherapies;
  • Development of antibodies for treatment of HIV infections; and
  • More efficient Cell Separation Products for HIV Research.

Since CHTD has been established, we are beginning to see the growth and development of the HIV industrial cluster in Canada, including strong coordination across firms, increased participation in HIV- and development-related symposia, and linkages between small-, medium-, and large-scale firms.  Supporting Canadian companies that have projects not only in HIV vaccines but also in other related technologies contributes to the development of this cluster. The cluster is essential to stimulate research and development, ensure that there are receptor companies for science and technologies developed in academia and research institutes, and move forward technologies closer to commercialization. 

More information can be found on the following websites: