Gritstone Bio In Funding Deal With CEPI To Advance Covid-19 Vaccine Program

Gritstone bio, Inc. (GRTS) on Tuesday said it has entered into a funding deal of up to $20.6 million with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance Gritstone's second-generation Covid-19 vaccine program against SARS-CoV-2 Variants.

As per the deal, CEPI will fund a Phase 1 study evaluating the company's second-generation Covid-19 vaccine program, CORAL's SAM (self-amplifying mRNA) vaccine in naïve, convalescent, and HIV+ patients. The study is expected to initiate before the end of 2021. The funding will also support pre-clinical studies, scale-up and formulation development to enable more stable drug product.

Together with the CEPI supported study, four different vaccine candidates will be evaluated to establish optimal dosing and antigenic content for the CORAL program in young individuals, the elderly, the previously vaccinated, and the immunocompromised, Gritstone said.

A Phase 1 study of Gritstone's second-generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate, CORAL, sponsored by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) in healthy people and as a booster for previously vaccinated volunteers is ongoing.

"CEPI is planning for the longer-term management of COVID-19 by investing in vaccines to address the threat of variants, and I'm pleased to work with Gritstone to advance the development of this innovative vaccine candidate which can be made globally accessible through COVAX if it is proven to be safe and effective," said Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI.

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