ViiV Healthcare & Radboud university medical centre collaborate to identify new drug targets for HIV

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ViiV Healthcare has announced a five-year collaboration with Radboud university medical centre (Radboudumc) in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, providing funding to enhance the HIV-specific capability of the Human Functional Genomics Project (HFGP). The HFGP is a large-scale project that combines detailed patient data with cross-omics information, host immune responses and environmental factors to better understand how the body recognizes and defends itself from disease as well as the signs, symptoms and progression of disease.

Under the supervision of a Scientific Management Board (SMB) comprising representatives from ViiV Healthcare and Radboudumc, Radboudumc will expand the cohort of HIV-infected individuals that are part of the HFGP from 200 to 2000 people. Data from this cohort will be used to look at the predictors and pathways of diseases that are specific to people living with HIV and how they might differ from other disease areas and from healthy people who do not have HIV. Using that information, the goal is to identify early stage drug targets that ViiV Healthcare could use to develop new medicines or approaches to treat HIV infection.

The project, called “HIV 2000+” will be the first comprehensive cohort study in HIV to use a field of biology called “cross-omics,” which uses genomics, microbiome metagenomics, and metabolomics technologies to better understand the underlying biology associated with HIV infection.

The collaboration will combine Radboudumc’s experience in infectious diseases, established networks and scientific techniques with ViiV Healthcare’s expertise and innovation in discovering and developing medicines for HIV.

Mihai Netea, MD PhD, Professor and Head of the Division of Experimental Internal Medicine at Radboud university medical center said “This is a unique collaboration which will combine for the first time in-depth clinical and pathophysiological phenotyping with a systems biology approach in a large population of patients with HIV. It is a unique chance to understand better the HIV infection and its complications, and to partner with ViiV Healthcare to translate that knowledge to the bed of the patient.”