Aphios Awarded NIH Grant For Development of a Double-Encapsulated mRNA Vaccine for COVID-19 and Other Diseases

WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Biodegradable–Aphios announced today that it was awarded an NIH grant to develop a double encapsulated mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 and other diseases.

COVID-19 has cost the US more than a million lives, significant social upheaval and human suffering and over $16 trillion in treasury. COVID-19 has quickly become the most impactful healthcare, social, and economic crisis of our lifetime. The need for cold storage, requirement for boosters and potential for adverse allergic reactions are major drawbacks of current COVID-19 vaccines. Due to the relatively short-lived persistence of antibodies to coronavirus estimated to be in the range of a few months and the endemic nature of the virus, mRNA vaccination could become a recurring and critical healthcare and economic necessity for COVID-19 and other diseases.

Aphios was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop a single-shot, room-temperature stable, double-nanoencapsulated mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. The mRNA molecule that encodes the coronavirus Spike protein will be first nanoencapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LPN) and then into biodegradable polymer nanospheres (PNS). The release of the mRNA LPN vaccine will be controlled by PNS degradation. Thus, mRNA LPN will remain in the body longer and will sustain the persistence of antibodies to the coronavirus. Additionally, double-encapsulation of the mRNA vaccine construct in PNS will protect the lipid mRNA nanoparticle from degradation and increase shelf stability at room and refrigerator temperatures. The double-nanoencapsulation technology will be readily applicable to mRNA vaccines for different COVID-19 variants and other diseases.

About Aphios Corporation:

Aphios (www.aphios.com) is a clinical stage, green biotechnology company developing enabling technology platforms to improve drug discovery and manufacturing, nanotechnology drug delivery and pathogenic safety. Based on these platforms, Aphios is developing enhanced therapeutics to prevent disease, maintain health, improve quality-of-life and treat chronic diseases including cancers and supportive care, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, influenza and COVID-19, and central and peripheral nervous system disorders in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43AI165352. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Trevor P. Castor, Ph.D., CEO

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