ReiThera Srl, a biotech company dedicated to the technology development, GMP manufacturing and clinical translation of genetic vaccines and medicinal products for advanced therapies, announces that it has been awarded a $1.4 million USD grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the generation of novel vaccine candidates based on the proprietary GRAd platform.
The funded program will be focused on two key goals:
- Developing innovative second-generation vaccine candidates able to provide broader coverage against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern
- Supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation HIV vaccine initiative to generate new vaccine candidates
The outcome of this research is designed to mostly benefit those in Lower and Middle-Income countries, in particular in Africa, who are disproportionally impacted by HIV and are currently without or with very limited access to effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Stefano Colloca, ReiThera’s Chief Technology Officer and co-Founder, said, “We are thrilled that ReiThera has been awarded this grant by the prestigious Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will also enable us to access their network of highly experienced scientific collaborators. The grant validates the potential of our novel GRAd vector technology to develop much needed vaccines for both new COVID-19 variants and HIV. I look forward to working with our world-renowned partners as we strive to generate these new vaccines, which are expected to have a very positive impact on the lives of people in lower- and middle-income countries.”
ReiThera has already developed GRAd-COV2, a candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 based on the novel and proprietary replication-defective Gorilla adenoviral vector encoding the full-length coronavirus spike protein. The GRAd vector belongs to species C adenovirus that are considered the most potent vaccine carriers and has low seroprevalence in humans.
Recent Phase 1 and 2 studies have demonstrated that GRAd-COV2 is safe and well-tolerated in adults and elderly, as well as in subjects with comorbidities, with seroconversion rates over 93% after a single dose and over 99% with a two-dose regimen. These results support further clinical development of the candidate vaccine with a Phase 3 study.
In parallel, ReiThera has also invested significantly in its CDMO organization by expanding the existing GMP area and by acquiring state-of-the-art technologies including stirred-tank bioreactors supporting a working volume up to 3000L. This facility is intended to be used for the production of GRAd-COV2 vaccine at large scale.
As the GRAd-COV2 manufacturing process is based on disposable technologies, it could be easily transferred to external sites for local production in the countries where demand for this novel vaccine is greatest.
About ReiThera Srl
ReiThera Srl is a biotech company dedicated to the technology development, GMP manufacturing and clinical translation of genetic vaccines and medicinal products for advanced therapies. The company’s management and scientific teams have developed a highly innovative technological platform based on simian adeno-vectored vaccines against several infectious diseases, such as RSV and Ebola.
ReiThera is led by an experienced management team that has worked together for many years in previous successful enterprises, including Okairos (acquired by GSK), and has a long-standing expertise in scalable processes for viral vector manufacturing, supported by a cGMP facility inclusive of filling suite and quality control laboratories.
ReiThera has its headquarters, R&D laboratories and GMP facilities in Rome, Italy.
For further information see: www.reithera.com