The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has awarded Molecular Rebar Design, LLC (MRD) a $1.1M Phase II SBIR Research Contract to develop a novel carbon nanotube (CNT) mediated therapy for HIV using MRD’s discrete carbon nanotube technology, Medical Grade Molecular Rebar (MGMR). This award follows a successful 6-month Phase I research contract where scientists at MRD showcased MGMR’s ability to load, transport, and release monoclonal antibody-encoded plasmid DNA in vitro with low toxicity.
“MRD and its team are very pleased and excited to receive the award and its funding to be able to help patients with this disease and believe the delivery mechanism will be useful beyond the treatment of HIV”
-Kurt Swogger, CEO and Co-founder of Molecular Rebar Design
In Phase II of the project, MRD will work with Associate Professor Lin Zhu, PhD at the Texas A&M School of Pharmacy and researchers at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) to demonstrate the delivery of MGMR in small and large animal models. Professor Zhu has a long history of developing patented novel delivery systems for biomolecules in vivo. MRD believes its collaboration with Professor Zhu will result in an effective carbon nanotube-based delivery system that produces HIV specific antibodies in a mouse model.
After achieving success in a small animal model, MRD will work with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute to develop and test MGMR in a non-human primate at the SNPRC. This effort will be one of the first times a carbon nanotube-based delivery vehicle will be tested in a non-human primate as part of a therapeutic. By the end of the project, MRD expects to have demonstrated the remarkable capabilities of MGMR as a therapeutic delivery vehicle for small and large animal models. There is immense potential for carbon nanotubes in medicine and biotechnology, and MRD is excited to be a part of their development.