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Dr Cosgrove is focused on clinical trials of new and existing vaccines to tackle diseases which disproportionately affect those populations in resource-poor areas, and in particular those living with HIV.

As joint lead of St George’s Vaccine Institute, one of Dr Cosgrove’s key priorities is to develop vaccines to prevent HIV infection, given the continuing world-wide epidemic. Another priority is to protect those living with HIV by increasing the use of existing vaccines to prevent infection. The successful HIV vaccine should have the ability to also prevent transmission of HIV to women of child-bearing age, including vaginal acquisition through the mucosa.

The gp140 protein has been used in early phase HIV vaccine studies to try to induce protective immunity against HIV infection by mimicking the gp120 present on the HIV virus. Both the MUCOVAC2 and TL01 first in human phase I clinical trials successfully proved that a vaccine containing gp140 is safe in humans. Additionally, these studies looked at the immunogenicity of novel vaccine administrations to the mucosa (intravaginal and/or intranasal).

One of the challenges of preventing viral acquisition through the mucosa is that the hormonal fluctuation of the reproductive processes in the female genital tract results in changes in the local immunological environment. This can affect cellular interaction with infectious agents such as HIV. This was explored in the CASHIR study.

Sample analysis from the INVASIS study focused on the characterisation of a plant-produced recombinant human secretory IgA with broad neutralising activity against HIV in context of the female genital environment.

Dr Cosgrove’s current work comprises exploring plant-produced vaccine technology, such as the first in human clinical trial of the tobacco-derived anti-HIV human monoclonal antibody (Future Pharma) in collaboration with Prof Ma and the use of meningitis vaccines in people living with HIV (ProPositive) working closely with Prof Heath, Dr Shamez and Public Health England.

The outstanding record of the Vaccine Institute attracts significant commercial interest leading to continuing collaboration with large pharmaceutical companies (GSK, Pfizer, Sanofi Pasteur, VBI Vaccines) in developing vaccines for infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, Meningococcal infections, Clostridium difficile and many others.


  • Localised cyclical variations in the immunoproteome of the female genital tract and the implications on the design and assessment of mucosal infection and therapies. J Ekeruche-Makinde, C Jones, A Bartolf, S Sibeko, S Baden, C A Cosgrove, R J Shattock – Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018;79:e12801 DOI:10.1111/aji.12801

  • Immunogenicity of HIV-1 CN54 gp140 envelope glycoprotein vaccine delivered by parenteral, nasal and vaginal routes in female volunteers. Cosgrove CA, Lacey CJ, Cope A V, Bartolf A, Morris G, Yan C, Baden S, Cole T, Carter D, Brodnicki L, Stoehr W, McCormack S, Shattock RJ. PLOS ONE DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0152038 May 9, 2016

  • Characterisation of a plant produced recombinant human secretory IgA with broad neutralising activity against HIV. M Paul, J Healy, R Relijic, K Klein, P Drake, C von Dolleweerd, M Pabst, M Windwarder, E Arcalis, E Stoger, F Altmann, C Cosgrove, A Bartolf, S Baden, J K-C Ma. MAbs. 2014;6(6):1585-97. DOI: 10.4161/mabs.36336


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