HDT Bio Awarded $2.9M NIH Grant to Develop RNA Vaccine for HIV-1 | Financial Buzz

HDT Bio Awarded $2.9M NIH Grant to Develop RNA Vaccine for HIV-1

HDT Bio Corp., a developer of immunotherapies for oncology and infectious diseases, announced today the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the company a three-year, $2.9 million grant to develop an HIV-1 RNA vaccine with its proprietary Lipid InOrganic Nanoparticle (LION) delivery system.

“HIV/AIDS remains a major global health challenge and is still an epidemic in some developing nations,” said Steve Reed, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of HDT Bio. “While AIDS can be treated as a chronic condition, the best way to counteract a potential resurgence of the disease is the development of a preventive vaccine that is robust, low cost and easy to manufacture.”

In 2019, there were approximately 36.2 million adults and 1.8 million children across the globe with HIV/AIDS and nearly 700,000 deaths. The vast majority of people with the deadly virus are in low- and middle-income nations.

HDT Bio’s HIV vaccine research will use the same self-replicating RNA technology employed with its COVID-19 RNA vaccine, HDT-301, which is in clinical trials in India in collaboration with Gennova Biopharmaceuticals of Pune. HDT-301 also is expected to enter clinical trials this spring in the US, China, Korea, and Brazil.

For the HIV vaccine, HDT Bio will use its LION system to deliver into cells RNA encoding recombinant mimics of HIV envelope spike proteins. When expressed by cells the spike proteins are designed to stimulate an immune response that generates broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to prevent HIV infection. The strategy recently produced positive results in a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted by the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Scripps Research.

HDT Bio’s HIV vaccine research will be conducted in collaboration with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington.

The company’s proprietary RNA technology differs from other approaches in that it employs self-replicating RNA, which is aimed at improving immune activation against infectious diseases at lower doses, enhancing safety and reducing costs. In addition, the LION system, which is manufactured separately from the RNA, makes the vaccine less expensive to scale-up to commercialization and easier to distribute and administer.

HDT Bio’s RNA vaccine for COVID-19 uses RNA encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV- 2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition to generating a stronger immune response at lower doses, HDT Bio’s COVID-19 vaccine production process is more efficient and deployment is more straightforward. The vaccine also doesn’t require extreme cold storage.


HDT Bio is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to providing immunotherapies to people around the world, including those in historically underserved areas. The company seeks to harness the body’s immune system to deliver therapies that narrowly target the specific areas of the body where they are needed. HDT Bio’s work focuses on oncological and infectious disease applications. HDT Bio’s founders are world leaders in the development of immune stimulants, including both therapeutics and therapy-enhancing adjuvants. One of the company’s core technologies, RNA/LION™, combines formulation and adjuvant ingredients to stabilize and deliver RNA to the immune system to stimulate responses for therapy or vaccination. http://hdt.bio


Christopher M. Pirie, Ph.D.

(425) 241-4152


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