The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant of $1.4 million to the Italian biotech firm ReiThera. It is for the development of vaccines based on its novel GRAd vector technology.
The Italian company released a statement saying the funding would focus on two key goals. The first of those goals is “developing innovative second-generation vaccine candidates able to provide broader coverage against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern”. In addition, the funds are for “supporting the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation HIV vaccine initiative to generate new vaccine candidates”.
Research will benefit lower and middle-income countries
The research will benefit mostly those in lower and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa. In that continent, there is disproportional impact by HIV and currently people have limited or zero access to effective covid-19 vaccines.
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ReiThera has already developed GRAd-COV2, a “candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2”. Furthermore, its initial studies show it to be “safe and well-tolerated in adults and elderly” and in people with comorbidities.
Stefano Colloca, CEO of ReiThera, said he was “thrilled” at news of the grant. He says it “validates the potential of our novel GRAd vector technology to develop much needed vaccines for both new covid-19 variants and HIV”. He added it would also enable the company to access the foundation’s “network of highly experienced scientific collaborators.”
ReiThera, based at Castel Romano near Rome, develops, manufactures, and carries out regulatory processes regarding viral-vectored technologies.