SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Malaria, TB and HIV vaccine research collaboration receives $2.9 million grant

Aeras, the University of Oxford and Okairos announced on Tuesday that they have received a $2.9 million grant to support their collaboration in the development of vaccines treating TB, HIV and malaria.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates to enhance global health and reduce extreme poverty, provided the grant. The foundation's goal is to give donations to companies and organizations capable of helping world health and poverty.

The grant was given to the three groups to assist their combined efforts to find scalable methods that enable large-scale production of multiple novel chimpanzee adenovirus constructs.

"We are pleased to expand our partnership with Okairos focusing on novel constructs utilizing chimpanzee adenovirus for next generation TB vaccines, as well as our collaboration with the University of Oxford, both of which are central to our organizational mission," Tom Evans, interim CEO of Aeras, said. "This effort to improve optimization and scale up under current good manufacturing practices could also potentially benefit our peers in HIV and malaria vaccine development."

Aeras and Oxford will be bringing considerable expertise in vaccine development and manufacturing, while Okairos, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in T-cell vaccines, offers the practical experience and facilities.

"This new collaboration will enable us to advance our promising technology platform," Riccardo Cortese, CEO of Okairos, said. "By continuing to work with Aeras and Oxford, partners with proven expertise in vaccines development, we ultimately aim to deliver novel vaccines to developing countries where there is great need."