Penta teams up with IAVI and Achilles Vaccines to develop new treatments for HIV, emerging infections and neglected diseases

01 Feb, 2024

Penta – Child Health Research announced a new collaboration with IAVI and Achilles Vaccines to accelerate the development of treatments for HIV, emerging infections and neglected diseases affecting children. This partnership will bring together the expertise of three organisations dedicated to global health, with the goal of developing affordable, accessible and effective solutions to some of the world’s most pressing health challenges.

The three organisations will work together to identify and develop innovative monoclonal antibodies against paediatric HIV infections for both preventive and therapeutic use. IAVI, a non-profit organisation dedicated to developing vaccines and antibodies, will provide broadly neutralising antibody (bnAb) sequences targeting HIV, access to existing HIV bnAb cell lines, and expertise in virology, immunology, as well as regulatory and clinical aspects related to HIV bnAbs. This collaboration aims to leverage IAVI’s deep experience in HIV vaccine and antibody development to drive progress in the fight against HIV and related diseases.

Penta, an international independent scientific network dedicated to child health, will provide specific clinical and immunological expertise on paediatric infectious diseases. This includes granting access to patient cohorts, clinical sites, and Penta international clinical research platform.

This collaboration builds upon and expands the research and clinical activities that Penta conducted during the EPIICAL Project funded by an unrestricted grant from ViiV Healthcare“, Paolo Rossi, EPIICAL Project Scientific Coordinator and Penta Foundation Board member, stated. “Penta’s commitment is integral to addressing the unique challenges posed by infectious diseases affecting children”.

Achilles Vaccines, a biotech company dedicated to developing safe and potent vaccines and monoclonal antibodies through scalable, sustainable and cost-effective production processes, will oversee the generation of a cell line based on monoclonal antibody (mAb) sequences developed by IAVI and Penta. The company will play a crucial role in manufacturing clinical materials for evaluation and assessing future targets for manufacture and clinical evaluation.

This collaboration marks a significant step forward in our collective efforts to combat HIV and other critical health challenges“, said Carlo Giaquinto, President of Penta Foundation and Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Padova, Italy. “We are excited to be working with IAVI and Achilles to leverage our expertise and bring about real change for patients around the world”.

IAVI is greatly looking forward to this collective effort to advance monoclonal antibodies as a therapeutic and preventive tool for paediatric HIV”, said Jon Heinrichs, Vice President of Antibody Program Strategy and Translational Immunology at IAVI. “With approximately 1.5 million children in the world today living with HIV, promising new tools like monoclonal antibodies are deeply needed to both prevent and treat infection”.

We are honored to have entered this collaboration and are eager to commence operations as soon as possible” stated Riccardo Baccheschi, President & CEO of Achilles Vaccines. “We firmly believe that this partnership could serve as an ideal platform for the development and use of mAbs in Africa to combat emerging infectious diseases, with a particular focus on the paediatric population”.

The collaboration agreement establishes a framework for reciprocal support and funding among the parties, fostering a collaborative environment that will expedite the development of life-saving interventions. The ultimate goal is to create accessible and affordable public health solutions for diseases that disproportionately affect children and underserved populations.

Read the press release in full.