January 10, 2018

Duke Human Vaccine Institute Receives Contract for Non-Human Primate Work

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Human Vaccine Institute received a $5,362,962 (includes the base period and all options), seven-year (if all term options are exercised) contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, to perform viral load assays for laboratories involved in HIV/AIDS research.

The new program will be under the leadership of Thomas Denny, who has been at Duke University since 2006, and is currently the Principal Investigator of the Immunology Quality Assessment (IQA) and External Quality Assurance Program Oversight Laboratory (EQAPOL) DAIDS-funded contracts and Director of the Immunology and Virology Quality Assessment Center (IVQAC) of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.

The Non-Human Primate Core Virology Laboratory will support the development and performance of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) or simian human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) viral load assays that are performed in support of HIV vaccine development efforts by HIV/AIDS research laboratories around the world.

“The work we will perform under this contract is critical for HIV research and vaccine development, particularly in the non-human primate field, and we are pleased to bring this program to the Duke Human Vaccine Institute,” stated Denny. “This is a critical infrastructure program to assist investigators worldwide who conduct non-human primate studies as part of vaccine research to develop a protective HIV/AIDS vaccine and puts Duke in the forefront of this work.”

With this contract, the IVQAC team will work to improve and develop assays that are used to detect and characterize viral RNA from samples obtained from non-human primates that are part of HIV/AIDS preclinical research studies. For example, detection of viral RNA will be performed in specimens that include plasma, mucosal tissues or secretions, and lymphoid tissues from non-human primates that have been infected with SIV or SHIV.

“The award of this contract continues to establish our institute as leaders in supporting the development of the highest quality of immunology or virology laboratory testing activities in support of HIV/AIDS research” said Barton Haynes, M.D., Director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.