Funds granted to help Rome-based firm develop vaccines against covid-19 and HIV.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant of $1.4 million to the Italian biotech firm ReiThera for the development of vaccines based on its novel GRAd vector technology.
In a statement the Italian company said that funding will focus on two key goals: "developing innovative second-generation vaccine candidates able to provide broader coverage against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern" and "supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation HIV vaccine initiative to generate new vaccine candidates."
The research is designed to benefit mostly those in lower and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa, which are impacted disproportionally by HIV and are currently without or with very limited access to effective covid-19 vaccines, the company said.
Stefano Colloca, CEO and co-founder of ReiThera, said he was "thrilled" at news of the grant which "validates the potential of our novel GRAd vector technology to develop much needed vaccines for both new covid-19 variants and HIV", adding that it would also enable the company to access the foundation's "network of highly experienced scientific collaborators."
ReiThera has already developed GRAd-COV2, a "candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2", with initial studies showing that it is "safe and well-tolerated in adults and elderly" and in people with comorbidities.
Based at Castel Romano, near Rome, ReiThera is dedicated to the technology development, GMP manufacturing and clinical translation of genetic vaccines and medicinal products for advanced therapies.
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