India and the Netherlands have planned to expand their existing cooperation in the area of large-scale patient cohorts with a Joint Cohort study on HIV patients in India. This decision was taken on the visit of Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to capital.
It is proposed that the joint cohort study will be executed by various partners in both India and the Netherlands including Erasmus University Medical Centre (Erasmus MC), Rotterdam, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), India, together with the other research institutions, with support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), said in a release by IAVI .
The initiative will focus on establishing a collaborative framework to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing for the establishment of acute and chronically infected HIV cohorts. Also, conducting preclinical & clinical studies and manufacturing of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to HIV-1 for their use in combination therapies, passive immunization, and/or for designing preventive vaccines. It will be facilitating characterisation and validation of Biomarkers that will aid in evaluation of disease progression and management, the statement added.
The project comprising of both Government and non-Government institutes will be jointly executed under the auspices of The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) Ministry of Science & Technology (MoS&T – India) by Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam (The Netherlands), research institutions of DBT and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).
To reach ground zero HIV burden in the country it is critical to fill gaps in the knowledge of how humans can defeat the virus as well reenergize research efforts to understand factors responsible for prevention and control of HIV infection and to develop strategies for the same.