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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
16-Dec-2013

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Contact: Jessica Maki
jmaki3@partners.org
617-525-6373
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brigham and Women's Hospital receives a $140 million NIH grant to fund the AIDS Clinical Trial Group

The grant renewal by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will support ongoing research led by the ACTG

Boston, MA-- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded two seven-year grants to Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) to fund the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) Network. The grants support the ACTG's Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) and Laboratory Center (LC). The funding totals $20 million annually or $140 million over seven years.

"The work accomplished by the ACTG over the last quarter century has had a profound impact on the wellbeing of persons living with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis," said Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at BWH, principal investigator and chair of the ACTG.. "Results of ACTG trials have helped establish the paradigm for the management of HIV disease and form the basis of current treatment guidelines in the US and internationally. This progress has resulted in dramatic reductions in AIDS mortality across the globe. These accomplishments have been accelerated by an innovative alliance of academic, government and industry scientists, clinicians, regulatory agencies and community advocates. We are delighted that NIAID has provided us the opportunity to continue this important work over the next seven years."

The ACTG is an international consortium of clinical research sites conducting clinical trials in HIV-infected adults to test novel therapeutic interventions focused on HIV-associated inflammation and resulting end-organ disease, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and HIV cure.

The continued funding underscores how Ed Perlmutter, 65, an ACTG study participant, feels about the importance of this work. Perlmutter joined the ACTG in 2006 when he was diagnosed with HIV.

"The first study I participated in helped to determine what antiretroviral drugs worked best in my patient population. I knew, after that study ended, that I directly helped other people with HIV determine what drugs would be best for them," he explained.

The ACTG has had many achievements over the years, some highlights include: enrolling more than 25,000 participants into 85 clinical trials in the US and in resource-limited settings around the world, developing a laboratory infrastructure to conduct clinical trials of TB and multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB in resource-limited settings, conducting trials comparing various antiretroviral drug regimens that form the cornerstones of current guidelines and standards of clinical management of HIV-1 infection, proving that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in patients starting treatment for tuberculosis improves survival in patients with advanced AIDS, and many more.

Approximately 50 Clinical Research Sites (CRS) domestically and internationally will receive additional funding from NIAID to conduct trials designed and implemented by the ACTG investigators and collaborators from around the world. The international CRSs are located primarily in resource-limited settings, including the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia.

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For more information about the ACTG visit https://actgnetwork.org/

The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Network's Leadership and Operations Center (LOC) and Laboratory Center (LC) are based at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The ACTG Network's mission is to develop and conduct scientifically rigorous translational research and clinical trials to (1) investigate the viral and immune pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection and its complications; (2) evaluate novel drugs and strategies for treating HIV-1 infection; (3) evaluate interventions and strategies to treat and prevent HIV-related co-infections and co-morbidity, and; (4) publish and disseminate results to improve care, and reduce or eliminate morbidity and mortality associated with HIV-1 infection and its complications. The Network has 60 research sites around the world.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is a 793-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare. BWH has more than 3.5 million annual patient visits, is the largest birthing center in New England and employs nearly 15,000 people. The Brigham's medical preeminence dates back to 1832, and today that rich history in clinical care is coupled with its national leadership in patient care, quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, and its dedication to research, innovation, community engagement and educating and training the next generation of health care professionals. Through investigation and discovery conducted at its Biomedical Research Institute (BRI), BWH is an international leader in basic, clinical and translational research on human diseases, more than 1,000 physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and faculty supported by nearly $650 million in funding. For the last 25 years, BWH ranked second in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) among independent hospitals. BWH continually pushes the boundaries of medicine, including building on its legacy in transplantation by performing a partial face transplant in 2009 and the nation's first full face transplant in 2011. BWH is also home to major landmark epidemiologic population studies, including the Nurses' and Physicians' Health Studies and the Women's Health Initiative. For more information and resources, please visit BWH's online newsroom.



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