The Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication, based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)
The Delaney Cell and Genome Engineering Initiative, based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
The Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise, based at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
The Martin Delaney Collaboratory
CARE is part of the Martin Delaney Collaboratory: Towards an HIV-1 Cure, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored program known as named in honor of the late AIDS activist, Martin Delaney.
Delaney was born in 1945, and he was the first AIDS treatment activist, a real pioneer and an internationally-recognized leader in the HIV field. In 1985, he created Project Inform, with the mission of raising public awareness of HIV and AIDS and expediting new drug approval.
Believing that God helps those that help themselves, Martin Delaney, in his early activist career, smuggled treatments from Mexico and worked with others who obtained drugs from as far away as China in an effort to help many people with an AIDS death sentencein the late 1980s.
His many efforts in the AIDS research arena helped galvanize the AIDS treatment activist movement and highlighted the need to accelerate the availability of new HIV drugs to those in desperate need. Delaney advocated with the FDA to streamline the process of bringing new drugs to market. He played an instrumental role in the development of the innovative Accelerated Approval regulations and the Parallel Track system eventually known as “Expanded Access” programs for providing experimental drugs to seriously ill people before formal drug approval by the FDA.
The changes he helped put in place saved thousands of lives and helped bridge the treatment gap, until the lifesaving ”AIDS cocktails” were finally approved.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said: “Millions of people are now receiving life-saving antiretroviral medications from a treatment pipeline that Marty Delaney played a key role in opening and expanding… It is without hyperbole that I call Marty Delaney a public health hero.”
Martin Delaney also led the Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) that still negotiates with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that HIV medications are affordable and accessible. Under his leadership, the FPC initiated drug price freezes and helped to create innovative access programs. The FPC is alive and well today and continues to ensure access to approved HIV drugs that does not happen in other diseases.
In addition, Delaney was the first AIDS activist to play a role in the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), a multi-centered national trial network of many of the best AIDS researchers in the country. He was the first activist to testify at an FDA Antiviral Advisory Committee hearing. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) from 1991 to 1995. He served on NIAID’s Council from 1995 to 1998, and on many other advisory roles during his long career.
He has been published in prestigious medical journals including, The Journal of Infectious Diseases and The Journal of AIDS. He is also the co-author of Strategy for Survival,The Gay Men’s Health Manual for the Age of AIDS, and was the editor for Project Inform HIV Drug Book
His work and the history of Project Inform have been described in several books, including Acceptable Risks, by Jonathan Kwitney; Against the Odds by Peter Arno and Good Intentions by Bruce Nussbaum.
His final work involved advocating for HIV “Cure” research and what has today developed into the Martin Delaney Collaboratory. Martin Delaney co-authored the Science 2009 paper entitled The Challenge of Finding a Cure for HIV Infectio, outlining the concept of an HIV “Cure” research Collaboratory.
Martin Delaney died on January 23, 2009 at his home in San Rafael, California as the result of complications of liver cancer. To this day, his work continues to have a positive influence in making strides to finding a “Cure” for HIV.
Special thanks to co-author, Jay Kotecha