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M€ budget

37 M

People living with HIV

2 M

People contract HIV annually

IDIBAPS and Hospital Clínic are working on this European project that aims to change the current paradigm of HIV treatment by obtaining a functional cure. Although there are numerous prevention strategies that have given good results, they are difficult to maintain in the long term. Achieving a functional cure would leave patients carrying the virus at undetectable levels, and although prevention measures would still be necessary, the risk of transmission would be minimised. Zabala Innovation participates in the coordination and management of this project together with 13 other European organisations.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 37 million people in the world are living with HIV and there are more than 2 million new infections each year. Although there are numerous successful prevention strategies, they are difficult to sustain in the long term. A functional cure for HIV is one of the major challenges in the fight against HIV.


The HIVACAR project proposes as a strategy the administration of a combination of immunotherapy that includes therapeutic vaccines (one of them personalised for each patient to prevent the escape of the virus from the vaccine), a potent antibody with the capacity to neutralise the binding site of the virus with the cells it infects and a molecule capable of reversing the latency of the virus, i.e. to unmask it.


This will be done in the framework of a Phase II clinical trial, to test its safety and tolerability. It will be determined whether this combination can activate the immune system mechanisms necessary to eliminate the infected cells from the latent viral reservoir. The socioeconomic and psychosocial impact of this treatment will also be analysed. HIVACAR will improve the quality of life of patients, reduce the current costs of HIV treatment and help control HIV replication for long periods of time or for life, without antiretroviral treatment.


This project has been financed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, under grant agreement No. 731626.

Laura Sesma

“Achieving a functional cure would make patients carriers of the virus at undetectable levels.”

Laura Sesma

Team leader expert in European Programmes in the Health Area

Team involved


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