AbSci, in collaboration with California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers, has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expedite the advancement of a cost-effective HIV therapeutic vaccine.

The grant assists Caltech and Absci in their combined effort to discover HIV therapeutic vaccines.

Under the guidance of Dr Pamela Bjorkman, the companies will integrate advanced research capabilities with expertise in synthetic biology, structural biology, immunology, protein design and generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Caltech Merkin Institute professor Dr Stephen Mayo stated: “We’re committed to making transformative contributions to society through research and innovation, and we are excited to partner with Absci, which has developed a powerful de novo AI antibody platform that is helping to unlock new therapeutic possibilities.”

The teams will focus on developing a new HIV therapy, which initially exposes and later attaches to a widely preserved epitope binding site on HIV-1.

It is expected to potentially help treat as well as offer protection against infection from all strains of the virus.

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Absci founder and CEO Sean McClain stated: “At Absci, we are driven to transform lives through the power of generative AI and synthetic biology.

“By joining forces with Dr Pamela Bjorkman and Dr Stephen Mayo, and with support
from the Gates Foundation, we believe we can make significant strides towards developing affordable HIV therapeutic vaccinations and positively impacting global health.”