UC San Diego Selected to Lead International HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit

The UC San Diego Collaborative Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) has been chosen to lead and administer a 7-year, $28 million grant for HIV/AIDS clinical trials.

The grant was awarded by the National Institutes of Health and UCSD was chosen along with research hospitals in other parts of America, South Africa, and India.

“UC San Diego has helped shape HIV/AIDS research and treatment through innovative research since the inception of the adult and pediatric therapeutic clinical trials networks in 1986,” said principal investigator Dr. Constance A. Benson, director of UCSD’s Antiviral Research Center.

“Together, the seven clinical research sites selected by the NIH for the HIV therapeutic clinical trials network bring together a wealth of scientific expertise, experience and the high-quality performance required to conduct complex clinical trials,” she said.

According to UCSD, approximately 38 million people are living with HIV/AIDS globally, and there 1.7 million people acquired the virus in 2019 alone. In the US, 1.2 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS.

The CTU will investigate therapeutic strategies aimed at cure and functional cure of HIV. It will evaluate viral persistence and latent reservoirs, broadly neutralizing antibody approaches to treatment and prevention, and pathogenesis and treatment of inflammation and its impact on HIV comorbidities. In addition, investigators will study new antiretroviral drugs including long-acting drug formulations for HIV treatment and prevention, HIV-related coinfections and comorbidities, including metabolic and end organ complications and hepatitis B cure, as well as the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis (TB), including TB preventive vaccines, in persons with mono- and HIV-coinfection.

“We are honored to lead a talented pool of investigators in a common goal of advancing research that clinically benefits people living with HIV,” said Benson.