ROCKVILLE, Md., June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sanaria Inc., a privately held company in Rockville, Maryland, and the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) of the University of Maryland College Park announce the receipt of a multi-year Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, worth nearly $3 million over a 3 year period, will fund research and development to genetically engineer mosquitoes that produce large numbers of parasites for Sanaria's malaria vaccine manufacturing process. This Phase II SBIR award allows the continuation and expansion of a successful partnership supported by a Phase I SBIR. Malaria vaccine development is a major humanitarian objective. Malaria causes more than 200 million clinical cases and between 650,000 and 1.2 million deaths each year.
Dr. Peter F. Billingsley, Sanaria Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator on the grant states, "Sanaria and IBBR have established a powerful system with which to exploit new techniques in mosquito genetics and efficiently test the ability of modified mosquito strains to sustain high level P. falciparum infections." According to Dr. David O'Brochta, a Principal Investigator on the grant and Director of the Insect Transformation Facility at IBBR, "The partnership between Sanaria and IBBR supported by this grant is an extraordinary opportunity to continue to exploit the unique capabilities of our Insect Transformation Facility in pursuit of a goal of tremendous importance."
Stephen L. Hoffman, M.D., CEO of Sanaria Inc., notes, "The SBIR grants are critical to the success of our malaria vaccine development efforts, which are aimed at producing a vaccine that can be used to eliminate malaria from defined geographic areas. This ongoing collaboration with IBBR provides an excellent opportunity to exploit state-of-the-art mosquito transformation methodologies to further our goal of generating extraordinarily high numbers of malaria parasites in mosquitoes to facilitate lower cost vaccine production."
About Sanaria Inc.
Sanaria's mission is to develop and commercialize live, whole sporozoite vaccines against malaria. Sanaria's sporozoite based products are being tested in clinical trials in the United States, Africa and Europe. Sanaria also makes available to the research community a range of parasitological and entomological reagents and assay services. For more information, see http://www.sanaria.com. Except for historical information, this news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements made. These forward-looking statements relate to the use of funds to date to complete manufacturing the vaccine, and ability to raise sufficient funding for clinical studies. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the Company's ability to raise funds on reasonable terms, the regulatory approval process, competitive products, and maintenance of its patent portfolio, among others.
Sanaria Media contact:
9800 Medical Center Dr, Ste A209
Rockville, MD 20850
About IBBR and the Insect Transformation Facility
The Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) is a University System of Maryland joint research enterprise created to enhance collaboration among the University of Maryland College Park, The University of Maryland Baltimore and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The mission of IBBR is to leverage collective research strengths of the partnering institutions in medicine, biosciences, technology, quantitative sciences and engineering, to foster integrated, cross-disciplinary team approaches to scientific discovery and education, and to serve the expanding economic base of biosciences and technology in the state of Maryland and the Nation.
Transgenic technologies complement the growth of genomics and provide opportunities to explore and exploit functional genomics. IBBR's Insect Transformation Facility (ITF) promotes the advancement of insect molecular science and its application to human health and welfare. ITF serves as an international resource for the creation of genetically modified insects for academic and industrial clients, development of new transgenic insect technologies, and provides training in the implementation and use of transgenic insect technologies.
IBBR Media contact:
Debra L. Weinstein, Ph.D.
Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research
University of Maryland College Park
9600 Gudelsky Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
Ph: +1- 240-314-6227
SOURCE Sanaria Inc.