Human Vaccines Project Partners with MedImmune to Help Accelerate Research and Development in Infectious Disease and Oncology

NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MedImmune is the newest member of the Human Vaccines Project, which will help to accelerate the research and development of vaccines and immunotherapies for infectious disease and cancer.

Incubated at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the Human Vaccines Project is an ambitious new public-private partnership seeking to transform the future of global disease prevention and treatment by solving the primary scientific obstacles impeding the research and development of new vaccines and immunotherapies. Endorsed by 35 leading vaccine scientists, the Project brings together top academic research centers, and government, non-profit and industry research and development efforts into a global consortium.

MedImmune will help establish the Project's global consortium, launch its research program and guide its scientific plan and future direction as a participant of the consortium and member of the Industrial Advisory Committee, a panel of leading industry partners that will advise the Project on its scientific plan and future direction.

"The human immune system is one of the most potent tools medicine has in the fight against disease," said Ronald Herbst, Vice President, Oncology Research & Development, MedImmune. "We look forward to sharing our biologics expertise in immunology and infectious disease, while working with some of the key leaders in this area to help advance drug and vaccine development against a wide range of diseases."

"Engagement with leading industry partners such as MedImmune is central to achieving the Project's ultimate goal of revolutionizing vaccine and immunotherapy development to create a new paradigm for global disease prevention," said Wayne C. Koff, IAVI Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of the Human Vaccines Project.

The Project's mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major global infectious diseases and cancers by decoding the human immune system. Its Human Immunome program is an ambitious seven-to-10-year effort to sequence the adaptive components of the immune system across diverse populations to provide an indispensable "parts list" allowing for the design of highly targeted new vaccines/therapies. Its Rules of Immunogenicity program focuses on conducting large numbers of small, iterative human clinical research trials to probe the immune system to systematically solve the key problems impeding vaccine/immunotherapy development. Together, these programs aim to dramatically transform the nature of vaccine and immunotherapy development, and thus disease prevention and treatment.

"Industrial partnerships in global research and development initiatives such as the Human Vaccines Project are essential prerequisites for success, and we welcome MedImmune to the rapidly growing number of partners in the Project's global consortium," said Ian Gust, Project Board member, Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and a long-time leader in the field of vaccinology.

About the Human Vaccines Project
The Human Vaccines Project is a non-profit public-private partnership with the mission to accelerate the development of vaccines and immunotherapies against major infectious diseases and cancers by decoding the human immune system. The Project, incubated at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GSK, Aeras, MedImmune and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Project brings together leading academic research centers, industrial partners, nonprofits and governments to address the primary scientific barriers to developing new vaccines and immunotherapies. In July, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) became the first of several scientific hubs at leading global academic research centers that will carry out the Human Vaccines Project's Scientific Plan.

About IAVI
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996, IAVI works with partners in 25 countries to research, design and develop AIDS vaccine candidates. The organization also conducts policy analysis and serves as an advocate for the AIDS vaccine field. It supports a comprehensive approach to addressing HIV and AIDS that balances the expansion and strengthening of existing HIV prevention and treatment programs with targeted investments in the design and development of new tools to prevent HIV. IAVI is dedicated to ensuring that a future AIDS vaccine will be available and accessible to all who need it. IAVI's work is made possible by generous support from many donors including: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark; Irish Aid; the Ministry of Finance of Japan in partnership with The World Bank; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The full list of IAVI donors is available at

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca's three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts
For the Human Vaccines Project: Ted Schenkelberg [email protected], +1.646.441.0894

For IAVI: Barbara Rosen, Director, Global Communications, [email protected], +1.212.847.1056

For MedImmune: Tracy Rossin, Director of External Communications, [email protected], +1.301.398.1468


SOURCE International AIDS Vaccine Initiative