Absci & Caltech Join Forces to Accelerate Affordable HIV Therapeutic Vaccine Development

Absci Corporation recently announced leading researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in conjunction with Absci, a leader in AI drug creation, received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant supports the joint effort of Caltech and Absci to discover affordable HIV therapeutic vaccinations, with the goal of making a significant step forward in the fight against the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The collaboration between Caltech and Absci, led by Dr. Pamela Bjorkman, brings together cutting-edge research capabilities and advanced technological expertise in structural biology and immunology, protein design, synthetic biology, and generative AI. By leveraging their combined strengths, the teams will work towards the development of a novel HIV therapy that first exposes and then binds to a highly conserved epitope binding site on HIV-1 to potentially both treat and protect against infection from all strains of HIV-1.

More than 40 years after the AIDS pandemic began, there is no vaccine or cure for HIV. Antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) help many people live longer, healthier lives, but they do not completely eliminate the virus and must be taken for life. Additionally, the cost and inaccessibility of these drugs disproportionately affect millions of people from low-income and marginalized communities. This new partnership between Caltech and Absci, facilitated by the generous grant from the Gates Foundation, aims to address this disparity by focusing on the affordability, scalability, and accessibility of HIV therapeutic vaccinations. Combining the latest advances and expertise across their respective fields, Caltech and Absci aim to confront a challenge facing millions worldwide.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” said Dr. Stephen Mayo, Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry and Merkin Institute Professor at Caltech and project co-leader. “We’re committed to making transformative contributions to society through research and innovation, and we are excited to partner with Absci, who has developed a powerful de novo AI antibody platform that is helping to unlock new therapeutic possibilities. This collaboration with Absci allows us to combine our expertise and work towards a common goal of developing affordable HIV therapeutic vaccinations that can save lives and bring hope to millions.”

“We are honored to be partnering with Caltech on this critical project,” added Sean McClain, Founder and CEO of Absci. “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.”

Absci is a generative AI drug creation company that combines AI with scalable wet lab technologies to create better biologics for patients, faster. Our Integrated Drug Creation platform unlocks the potential to accelerate time to clinic and increase the probability of success by simultaneously optimizing multiple drug characteristics important to both development and therapeutic benefit. With the data to learn, the AI to create, and the wet lab to validate, Absci can screen billions of cells per week, allowing it to go from AI-designed antibodies to wet lab-validated candidates in as little as six weeks. Absci’s vision is to deliver breakthrough therapeutics at the click of a button, for everyone. Absci’s headquarters is in Vancouver, WA, its AI Research Lab is in New York City, and its Innovation Center is in Zug, Switzerland. For more information, visit www.absci.com.