HIVACAT is the Catalan project for the development of an effective vaccine against the HIV virus. The organization is a joint public and private sector consortium unprecedented in Spain, placing our country at the forefront of international research in this field. Composed of Catalonia’s two longest established and leading AIDS research centres, the Institute for AIDS Research IrsiCaixa, and the AIDS and Infectious Diseases Service at Barcelona’s Hospital Clìnic, HIVACAT conducts research into the development of a new HIV vaccine, in conjunction with the organization ESTEVE, and with the support of the “la Caixa” Foundation, the autonomous Catalan government’s Department of Economy and Knowledge plus the Clinic Foundation at Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic. This consortium is the first major collaboration attempt between local government, research centres and private enterprise in this field.
Both centres carry out research alongside their more than 5,000 patients, who benefit from the rapid incorporation of new treatments developed at the centres themselves, and from innovations achieved on an international scale. HIVACAT combines the clinical and scientific experience of more than 60 researchers trained in internationally respected research institutions, such as Harvard University in the USA, the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the Royal Free Hospital in London, who work in close collaboration on a diverse range of projects with prestigious international research groups.
The programme is co-directed by Dr Bonaventura Clotet, Director of IrsiCaixa, and Dr Josep Maria Gatell of Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic. It is also worth mentioning the incorporation of researcher Christian Brander, as HIVACAT Scientific Coordinator, member of the Catalan autonomous government’s ICREA institute, and Eloisa Yuste, also from Harvard University, who has joined the IDIBAPS AIDS Research Group at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, participant in the Ramon y Cajal research programme.