Aphios Corporation Granted NIH Support for Development of Novel HIV Therapeutic Vaccine
August 10, 1998
Woburn, MA — Aphios Corporation has been awarded a Phase I SBIR Grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop a novel therapeutic HIV vaccine. Aphios will address concerns about safety, effectiveness and cost by utilizing an extremely effective virus inactivation technology, SuperFluids™ CFI.

Currently, significant breakthroughs on AIDS treatment and in basic research on HIV, and the use of drug cocktail mixtures have proven to be quite effective in lowering the viral load in infected patients, thus slowing the progression of AIDS. However, available cocktail mixtures are quite expensive, costing an estimated $ 10,000 to $ 12,000 USD per year. As such, a minimal number of HIV-infected patients can afford these cocktail treatments. It is estimated that over 90% of the 23 million HIV-infected people live in less developed countries and have very limited access to available therapies. There are also significant concerns about the long term efficacy of the new cocktail therapies.

Aphios is developing and testing novel HIV therapeutic vaccines as alternate, more effective and less expensive interdictions for HIV and AIDS. Our therapeutic vaccines are being developed by utilizing an extremely effective virus inactivation technology which has negligible impact on antigen integrity activity. Our vaccines are being developed from nef denuded and other attenuated HIV particles for a greater degree of safety, and from cocktail mixtures of different HIV strains for a higher degree of efficacy. Our HIV vaccine manufacturing technology is quite inexpensive, amenable to large-scale processing, portable and can be readily implemented in a host country site.

The proprietary SuperFluids™ CFI virus inactivation technique is based on advanced liquid-liquid technology using supercritical or near-critical fluids with or without cosolvents for the gentle and rapid inactivation of both enveloped and non-enveloped viruses without any significant alteration of product quality and biological activity. By judicious selection of SuperFluids™ type and conditions, virus particles are effectively inactivated.

Conventional techniques that are used to inactivate HIV have included formalin treatment, detergent disruption, exposure to psoralen and ultraviolet light, and treatment with Beta-propiolactone. Such methods are known to denature protein, chemically modify protein and nucleic acid, disrupt macromolecular interactions, and otherwise decrease biological activity and antigenicity. CFI does not destroy the essential native structure of proteins and does not involve the use of carcinogenic or toxic substances. Because CFI inactivates enveloped viruses while retaining the integrity of proteins, this novel technology presents great potential for the development of an effective HIV vaccine.

Aphios, a privately held R&D company offering unique, rapid and generally applicable virus-free products, as well as novel, non-toxic and cost-effective medical advances to market using its proprietary and innovative SuperFluids™ CFI technology.