The discovery of new vaccines for diarrhea, HIV, malaria, pneumonia, and TB has historically relied on a long and costly process of trial and error, and has an uneven record of success. In traditional approaches, antigens are combined with adjuvants and formulated to stimulate the desired immune response. These candidates must undergo animal studies and large human efficacy trials in target populations to assess their potential. The ability to identify the best combination of antigen, adjuvant, and formulation early in the process, before more expensive and time-consuming clinical studies, is critical for progress.
The increased application of genomics, proteomics, biophysical analysis, sophisticated cell-based assays, and bioinformatics tools could provide new opportunities for the investigation of candidate vaccines. In addition, improved paradigms for rational vaccine design are needed. Multidisciplinary approaches may facilitate the identification of safe and broadly efficacious new vaccines.
What We Are Looking For:
The goal of this topic is to generate novel untried vaccine leads for diarrhea, HIV, malaria, pneumonia, and TB. We seek proposals that are “off the beaten track,” daring in premise, and clearly different from the approaches currently being developed or employed.
Note: Generic vaccine technology platforms that are not specific to a single disease should be submitted under “Create New Ways to Protect Against Infectious Disease.”
A few of the many options to be considered include:
- Novel vaccine targets and constructs inspired by new observations or understanding about the nature of the targeted organism or the human response to that organism;
- Approaches to present antigens that take into consideration their immunologically relevant conformations;
- Approaches to enhance immunity through induction of biophysical changes in target cell membranes;
- New vaccine constructs that target specific tissue or cell types for appropriate induction of local and systemic immunity;
- Novel vaccines designed specifically for populations with high disease burden or risk of infection.
For this topic, we will not consider funding for:
- Proposals that do not address diarrhea, HIV, malaria, pneumonia, or TB (for a listing of the priority pathogens within these disease areas, see http://www.gatesfoundation.org/global-health/Pages/overview.aspx);
- Vaccine candidates currently under development or in clinical investigation;
- Vaccine concepts not based on an explicit hypothesis or rationale for improved performance over those candidates currently in development;
- Vaccine candidates for pandemic and seasonal influenza.