Infectious Disease Research Institute Exits Receivership and Launches AAHI, the Access to Advanced Health Institute, with $50 Million Funding Commitment
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) announced that it has exited receivership and is resuming independent operation as the Access to Advanced Health Institute (AAHI), to better reflect the organization’s renewed focus and evolving mission to protect and improve lives and health around the world. AAHI held its first Board of Directors meeting this morning.
While operating in Receivership, IDRI made arrangements to satisfy its creditors, reorganized and streamlined its operations, grew its portfolio of innovative formulation and RNA platform technologies, and entered into significant new partnerships to further its nonprofit mission. With the court-approved exit from receivership, all assets and operations are now under AAHI’s control. AAHI will continue with the direction and guidance of its new Board of Directors and executive team on solid financial footing.
AAHI launches with multi-year commitments for over $50 million dollars, including recent licensing agreements with partners such as the prominent immunotherapy company ImmunityBio, Inc. This catalytic funding, together with the Institute’s existing portfolio of government awards, privately sponsored research, and licensing revenue, will allow AAHI to invest in its dedicated team of experts and innovative science to achieve its bold mission. AAHI has refocused and expanded its scientific research and product development to combat some of the world’s deadliest diseases including ongoing work on a next-generation RNA COVID vaccine that promises to be potent, durable, and broadly protective against viral variants. Additional targets for use of AAHI’s immune-stimulating technologies include cancer, allergies, fungal and parasitic infections, and other non-communicable diseases.
Corey Casper, MD, MPH, and CEO of AAHI, said, “We are excited to build upon nearly three decades of extraordinary science, product development, and manufacturing with transformational resources to achieve our renewed mission. AAHI brings together the best experts and latest developments to create solutions for harnessing the power of the immune system to fight disease. Our new name, Access to Advanced Health Institute, reflects our ongoing emphasis on advancing science that enables global equitable access to effective, efficient, broad, and durable vaccines and therapeutics.”
AAHI is committed to solving fundamental scientific challenges that block progress and impede the ability of the biomedical community to deliver on a shared goal – protecting and improving lives and health around the world. AAHI's focus on global availability permeates its efforts to forge new collaborations and partnerships, to train the next generation of scientists to develop and manufacture immune-enhancing technology, and to make immunologic innovations equitably accessible to the people who need them. AAHI’s future plans include leading and supporting developments of a network of satellite institutes initially in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, and Uganda.
AAHI's commitment to science and collaboration has supported development of a COVID vaccine candidate based on AAHI's RNA platform. This self-amplifying RNA COVID vaccine candidate will soon enter ImmunityBio-sponsored Phase I/II clinical trials, expected to begin in the first or second quarter of 2022. AAHI has developed technology that will permit this and other vaccines to be stable at room temperature for over six months.
AAHI is also working with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) DRIVe (Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures) “Beyond the Needle” Program to develop an RNA vaccine delivered by nasal spray to prevent pandemic influenza. Additionally, the organization has provided adjuvant formulations to stimulate production of broadly neutralizing antibodies to protect against coronavirus variants, a development highlighted by Dr. Anthony Fauci in a White House COVID briefing and published in the journal Nature, “Neutralizing antibody vaccine for pandemic and pre-emergent coronaviruses.”
Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of ImmunityBio and the Chair of AAHI’s Board of Directors of AAHI, said, “Ensuring access to healthcare innovations for people everywhere is vital to global health and equity. We can move closer to that goal thanks to the scientific work of AAHI researchers along with AAHI’s ability to turn those discoveries into new therapies in collaboration with our partners in academia, NGOs and industry.”
Glenda Gray, MB Bch, FC Paeds, DSc (hc), OMS, President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council, said, “Access to innovative vaccines and immunotherapies is a critical part of reducing the global health burden. The work of the AAHI and its researchers is important for building research capacity and manufacturing medical products in Africa.”
For nearly three decades, AAHI and its predecessor, IDRI, have focused on creating immune-enhancing technologies that improve the body’s natural response to disease. AAHI has responded to the complex issues surrounding global access to vaccines and other life-changing technologies by reassessing and refocusing its efforts to ensure that its pioneering immune-enhancing platform technologies can be more rapidly and efficiently used in areas of greatest need—regardless of geography or socio-economic status. AAHI is looking forward to future delivery on its mission - building a world in which every person has access to the tools that harness their immune systems and allow for a long, healthy life.
The newly elected Board Members of AAHI include:
Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, ImmunityBio
Glenda Gray, MB BCh, FC Paeds, DSc (hc), OMS, President, South African Medical Research Council
David Kerr, CBE, MA, MD DSc FRCP (Glas & Lon) FRCGP (Hon) Fmed Sci, Professor, University of Oxford
Eduard Mocarski, Ph.D., Professor, Emory University and Stanford University School of Medicine
Edward Hsu, MPA, MBA, Senior Advisor, World Bank Group
Raul Concepcion, MD, F.A.C.S., Chief Science Officer, U.S. Urology Partners
Corey Casper, MD, MPH, CEO, AAHI
AAHI is a nonprofit biotech research institute located in Seattle, Washington that combines the high-quality science of an academic research organization with the product-development capabilities of a biotech company to help combat some of the world’s deadliest diseases, including COVID-19, cancer, fungal and parasitic infections, and other non-communicable diseases. For nearly three decades, AAHI, previously known as the Infectious Disease Research Institute, has focused on creating immune-enhancing technologies that improve the body’s natural response to disease. Through collaborations AAHI brings innovation from the lab to the clinic to the people, furthering AAHI’s mission to bring together the best experts, technologies, and platforms to create accessible, high-quality products and solutions. AAHI is working to build a world in which every person has access to tools that harness their immune system and allow them to live a healthy life free of illness and disease. For more information, go to AAHI.org or follow us on LinkedIn.
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Source: Access to Advanced Health Institute
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