SEATTLE, July 19 (UPI) -- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded more than $250 million to researchers in 19 countries for development of a vaccine for the HIV virus.
The grants will be given over five years to 16 teams of researchers. It is the largest private investment in the search for a vaccine for the virus that causes AIDS, the foundation said in announcing the grants Wednesday.
The awards represent a significant shift in emphasis to large-scale collaborative projects, rather than the use of smaller teams of researchers working independently, The New York Times said.
The scientists who are receiving the grants applied for the money before financier Warren Buffett announced last month that he was giving $31 billion to the Gates Foundation, the newspaper said.
The new grants bring to $528 million the amount that the Gates Foundation has invested in the search for a vaccine against HIV.