University of Buffalo spinoff company wins contract to develop HIV vaccine

A University at Buffalo spinoff company has received a $600,000 contract from the National Institutes of Health to pursue development of a vaccine against HIV, the university announced.
The technology, developed by POP Biotechnologies Inc., spontaneously converts high-quality HIV-derived proteins into virus-resembling particles, according to the announcement.

BMES member Jonathan F. Lovell, PhD, is the co-founder of POP BIO and an associate professor of biomedical engineering.

The funding — a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — supports a collaboration between POP BIO and Scripps Research, with the goal of using POP BIO's next-generation vaccine delivery platform to enhance the performance of vaccine antigens developed by scientists at Scripps Research.

The delivery platform, a liposome-based vaccine adjuvant, leverages technology that POP BIO has licensed from UB, according to the article.

POP BIO's vaccine delivery platform is called SNAP (Spontaneous Nanoliposome Antigen Particleization). SNAP consists of specialized liposomes, originally developed in Lovell's UB lab, that bind to and improve the effectiveness of vaccine antigens — molecules that prompt the body to produce antibodies that neutralize disease.

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