California-based Antigen Discovery, Inc., (ADi) was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR) from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
With the one-year, $225,000 award, ADi plans to develop a Pan-HIV Protein Microarray Chip that will help prevent HIV infection.
"ADi is grateful and excited about this SBIR award from the NIDCR,” ADi President and CEO Dr. Xiaowu Liang said. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to apply our core platform technology to the development of a Pan-HIV Protein Microarray Chip."
ADi Director of Proteomics Dr. Douglas Molina is equally thrilled.
"The chip will allow rapid characterization of the humoral immune response to all HIV infections and HIV vaccination regimens to identify antibodies against broadly neutralizing epitopes, to provide a useful and much needed tool to aid the development of a safe and effective vaccine to prevent or treat HIV infection and the subsequent progression to AIDS,” Molina said.
Dr. David Camerini, the principal investigator of the study, said developing a safe and effective vaccine is “of the utmost importance.”
"The effort, however, has been hampered by a lack of understanding of the correlates of protective immunity and a lack of the tools needed to measure effective anti-HIV-1 immune responses,” Camerini said. “The current version of the multiclade HIV-1 (MC-HIV-1) chip, which is available commercially from ADi, contains HIV-1 proteins, protein fragments and epitopes from clades A1, A2, B, C and D. These five clades comprise 74 percent of HIV-1 infections worldwide. With support of this SBIR award, we will improve the MC-HIV-1 chip by expanding its coverage to 91 percent HIV-1 infections and virtually all HIV-2 infections globally thereby creating a Pan-HIV Proteomic Chip."