Request for Information (RFI): Areas of Research Aimed at a Cure or Lifelong Remission of HIV Infection

Notice Number: NOT-AI-14-034

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: February 5, 2014
Response Date: March 14, 2014

Related Announcements
None

Issued by
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR)

Purpose

Commemorating World AIDS Day on December 2, 2013, President Obama announced the redirection of $100 million to expand support for research aimed at a cure or lifelong remission of HIV infection The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek input from the scientific community regarding high priority research areas related to HIV persistence and the development of strategies for eradicating or controlling virus remaining despite optimal antiretroviral treatment. The information obtained from responses will aid the NIH in prioritizing areas to be supported for HIV cure-related research.

Background

HIV infection is a disease that is manageable with lifelong effective antiretroviral therapy; however a cure remains elusive. Despite prolonged suppression of viral replication to very low levels, when antiretroviral therapy is discontinued, viral replication rebounds to pretreatment levels in nearly all infected persons. The report of a single case of a cure in an adult who underwent stem cell transplants as well as the report of an infant who was cured of HIV infection with early treatment initiated by the second day of life have renewed interest in the field of cure-related research and highlighted the need for further basic research to understand the sources of and reservoirs for residual viremia, the mechanisms that facilitate persistence,  better assays for evaluating and measuring persistent HIV as well as evaluation of therapeutic concepts for targeting residual virus.

Currently, a broad program of cure-related research is supported across the NIH.  This research spans the Institutes and addresses a range of issues, including basic science, adult and pediatric research, and neuroAIDS. The funds made available through the President’s directive offers the NIH the opportunity to expand research opportunities. Input from the research community is important to identify those research areas of highest priority that warrant additional support.

Information Requested

This RFI invites the scientific community to provide comments that can include but are not limited to the following areas:

1. (a) The HIV cure-related research topics that should be considered high priority.   
(b) The new basic information, technologies, and resources that are needed to facilitate progress in this area.   
2. (a) Areas of cure-related research, if any, that should be considered lower priority.  
(b) The approaches that have already been, or are currently being, explored at a sufficient level.
3. (a) The balance point between basic, translational or clinical evaluations that would provide the optimal mix to rapidly advance cure research.   
(b) The type of expertise that should be included to enhance or better enable research toward a cure. (c) The new initiatives that are needed and on what topics should they focus.   
(d) The grant mechanisms that would be most appropriate.  
4. (a) Any existing initiatives or cure-related programs that should be expanded or abolished.   
(b) Other existing programs that currently do not include cure-related research that could logically be expanded to include cure-related research as part of the scope.

Responses

Responses will be accepted through March 14, 2014. Please respond by email to: CureRFI@nih.gov and include the text “RFI Reply” in the subject line. Please specify which area you are providing responses to. Only submissions to this email address will be considered for this RFI.

Please limit your total response to a maximum of 3 pages.

All interested extramural investigators and other interested parties are invited to respond. Responders are free to address any or all of the above items. 

All individual responses will remain confidential. Any identifiers (e.g., names, institutions, email addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the processed, anonymized results will be shared internally with NIH staff members, as appropriate. The U.S. Government cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the information provided.

Responders are advised that the U.S. Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to responders with respect to any information submitted. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation for applications or as an obligation on the part of the U.S. Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it.  The U.S. Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for its use of that information. Responders should be aware that the information provided will be analyzed and may be used to develop future funding opportunity announcements and/or appear in various reports.

Inquiries

Responses to this RFI should only be submitted to the email address noted above in “Responses”. 
Questions about this RFI may be directed to any of the NIH staff members listed below:

Paul Sato, M.D.
Office of AIDS Research
Telephone:   301-480-2330 
Email:  paul.sato@nih.gov

Diana Finzi, Ph.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone:   301-451-2598
Email: dfinzi@niaid.nih.gov

Sarah Read, M.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone:   301-451-2757
Email: readsa@niaid.nih.gov

Katherine Davenny, M.P.H.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone:   301-443-2146
Email: kdavenny@nida.nih.gov

Rohan Hazra, M.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone:  301-435-6868
Email:  hazrar@mail.nih.gov

Stephen Hughes, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone:  301-846-1619
E-mail: hughesst@mail.nih.gov

Jeymohan Joseph, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-443-3012
Email: jjeymoha@mail.nih.gov

May Wong, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1431
Email: wongm@ninds.nih.gov

 

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