BELIEVE, short for “Bench to Bed Enhanced Lymphocyte Infusions to Engineer Viral Eradication,” is a 5-year, multimillion-dollar HIV Cure research grant awarded to the George Washington University as part of the second iteration of the NIH Martin Delaney Collaboratory. Although Antiretroviral (ARV) therapy prolongs life, it is expensive, requires lifelong adherence, and is limited by drug toxicities and drug-resistant virus. To help end the global epidemic, an HIV cure is needed.
Established in honor of late AIDS activist Martin Delaney, the grant is designed to draw researchers out of their silos, pairing them with colleagues from across the globe. The grant also puts researchers together with private companies, in this case immunotherapeutic company Altor BioScience Corporation (Altor) as well as Torque Therapeutics (Torque), a biomedical engineering company, to accelerate the bench-to-bedside process. Outside the lab, the researchers will prioritize community engagement through local advisory boards and ongoing dialogue with the community.