Bench to Clinic web tool relaunched

Supporting the development of HIV vaccine candidates

In August 2012, the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise began work on an interactive web tool to guide researchers, funders and advocates through the process of advancing their HIV vaccine candidates from preclinical studies to the first-in-human trials. The Enterprise engaged experts in manufacturing, regulatory, clinical, project management and other areas to gather the most critical information that would be useful to someone new to this transition process.

Over 15 experts provided the content, which was collated and organized by the Enterprise staff and external contributors. The content was reviewed to make the language and recommendations applicable internationally, including throughout the United States, Canada and the European Union. The resulting document was converted into an interactive web tool that allows not just easy navigation, but also selection of the type of candidate vaccine (DNA, protein or viral vector). The tool offers three confidence level scenarios (optimistic, average and pessimistic), which automatically adjust costs and timelines.

The Enterprise “Bench to Clinic” web tool was released on 1 October 2013. It provided an overview of the necessary steps in the process and estimates of corresponding timelines and budgets. It also drew attention to some potential challenges and provided links to relevant resources. A print version of the guide was created and made available for download. In 2015, the tool was reviewed and improved to include case studies and information specific to manufacturing in South Africa.

The Enterprise is now part of the International AIDS Society with a new strategy that emphasizes information sharing and supporting the development of HIV vaccine candidates. It is relaunching the “Bench to Clinic” web tool in the context of ongoing efficacy trials, a rich pipeline of new products and new approaches to the design and development of HIV vaccines. The tool remains valuable for understanding product development stages and processes and provides roadmaps that remain mostly unchanged. The Enterprise is committed to continue improving this tool and will seek input from scientific experts and manufacturing professionals.

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