The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has designated Emory University's HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) as a primary site nationally in both the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The ACTG is the nation's premier NIH-funded clinical trials network for HIV/AIDS treatment trials, and the HVTN is the premier network for HIV vaccine prevention trials.
The Emory CTU expects to receive more than $7 million over seven years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the NIH. Principal investigator of the Emory CTU is Jeffrey Lennox, MD, professor of medicine in Emory University School of Medicine, and co-director of the Clinical Research Core of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
The Emory CTU will be part of a multi-site effort that includes HIV/AIDS clinical trials units on five continents. Under this new award the NIAID will be funding clinical trials units in 18 states, Puerto Rico and in Washington, D.C.
Many of the clinical trials in Emory's CTU for HIV/AIDS treatment are conducted by Emory School of Medicine physicians at the Ponce Center in midtown. The Ponce Center houses the outpatient infectious disease clinics of Grady Health System and is one of the largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment facilities in the country.
"Emory has been a subunit of the ACTG since 1996, but given our outstanding performance, we have now been selected to be a main unit," explains Carlos del Rio, MD, Emory CFAR director for clinical research and international studies, Emory professor of medicine, and site leader for the ACTG at the Ponce Center. "Many of the treatment guidelines for HIV infection have been established through trials performed by the ACTG."
At Emory's Hope Clinic, located in downtown Decatur, researchers will conduct HVTN-sponsored clinical trials of vaccines designed to prevent HIV infection or disease. The Hope Clinic is an integral unit of the Emory Division of Infectious Diseases, is the clinical affiliate of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), and provides the clinical arm for the Emory Vaccine Center, located at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. "We at the Hope Clinic are proud and excited to be selected to participate in this global AIDS vaccine testing effort," said Mark Mulligan, MD, director of the Emory Hope Clinic and co-director of the Emory CFAR Clinical Research Core. "An AIDS vaccine offers the best hope to stop the ongoing worldwide AIDS problem."
For information about HIV/AIDS treatment trials, go to http://www.aactg.org/clinicaltrials_research.asp or call 404-616-6333.
For more information about vaccine trials to prevent HIV/AIDS, call 877-424-4673 or go to http://www.hopeclinic.emory.edu. For information about CFAR, go to http://www.sph.emory.edu/CFAR/.