About the project


An international consortium coordinated by Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (FhG-IBMT) has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop one of the most modern global HIV cryobanks, as part of a new international effort to accelerate the development of an HIV vaccine.

Fraunhofer IBMT has established a state-of-the-art specimen repository where samples obtained from tests of vaccine candidates can be stored in controlled low-temperature conditions, for long-term preservation and for sharing among collaborating laboratories. The facility will also conduct research to develop novel techniques for preserving research samples.


CAVD - Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery

In June 2004 the G8-countries at the world economic summit in Sea Island (Georgia, USA) appealed for a global enterprise to develop vaccines against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the AIDS pathogen. One strategic aim of this Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise was the creation of coordinated global development centres for HIV vaccines.

In support of the Enterprise, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding a large network of HIV vaccine discovery and laboratory centers, known as the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery - CAVD. The Foundation has provided 16 grants totaling $287 million over five years to establish an international network of HIV vaccine discovery consortia, supported by central laboratories and data analysis facilities. The goal of this new network is to overcome major scientific obstacles facing HIV vaccine research, and accelerate the development of an effective vaccine that could help bring the global AIDS epidemic under control.

The grants support a range of innovative approaches for designing an effective HIV vaccine, and bring together more than 165 investigators from 19 countries to tackle some of the biggest scientific challenges facing the field.


GHRC - Global HIV Vaccine Research Cryorepository

The HI virus still poses unsolved problems. Despite decades of research a vaccine does not yet exist. The viruses are adaptable and versatile with many variations worldwide and they reproduce within the cells of the immune system of infected people. Therefore virus collections are indispensable instruments in the development of a vaccine.

Large and precious virus collections are currently decentralized and distribution technology is inadequate for future world needs. The approach of the international Consortium calls for a modern, central HIV cryobank. In this bank the viruses and cells of the immune system and other relevant reagents can be perfectly preserved at liquid nitrogen temperatures and retrieved at any time.

The goal of the Global HIV Vaccine Research Cryorepository (GHRC) is to establish the first large-scale centralized biobank (also termed "central cryostorage facility") for low-temperature storage of HIV-1 related specimens and reagents providing standardized access to these important samples. Additionally, clinical samples from selected primary sites relevant to potential vaccine trial sites will be collected and be offered by the HIV cryobank.

The GHRC network will develop novel procedures for optimized sample processing, cryopreservation and storage of clinical specimens from regional centers, or for reagents generated elsewhere in the CAVD consortium. In addition, it will provide training and capacity building for regional centers and technology transfer to the CAVD consortium. The reagents generated, key information about these reagents, as well as all new technology developed by this network will be made available for HIV/AIDS vaccine development throughout the whole Global HIV/AIDS Vaccine Enterprise. This will help to ensure that the vaccine candidates will be genetically, immunologically and biologically relevant.

News & Press

02-Dec-10 20:08

Now online 
Our brand new Video Gallery

08-Aug-12 15:19

WHO-UNAIDS Guidelines

At the annual meeting of the GHRC consortium in December 2011 it was proposed that the new edition of the Guidelines should be a collaborative effort between WHO and the GHRC consortium. To ensure that the Guidelines include all aspects of HIV vaccine research, an advisory group of experts representing different fields met in a 3-day meeting at the premises of the FhG-IBMT in Sulzbach on 18-20 June 2012.