SEATTLE–HDT Bio Corp., a developer of immunotherapies for oncology and infectious diseases, announced today it has been selected to join Blue Knight, a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (‘JLABS’) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) within the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (HHS).

“We are grateful to JLABS and BARDA to be named a Blue Knight company,” said HDT Bio CEO Steve Reed. “We look forward to utilizing our expertise in the Blue Knight program to support in the development of new products to guard against and respond to public health threats and emerging infectious diseases.”

Blue Knight is a collaboration dedicated to anticipating public health security threats, activating the global innovation community and amplifying scientific and technology advancements to respond to a rapidly evolving global health environment.

HDT Bio is focused on applying self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) with its proprietary LION™ delivery system to develop immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer. The technology proved successful in development of a COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorized in India and is in clinical trials in the U.S., South Korea and Brazil. It is the first saRNA vaccine authorized for human use anywhere in the world.

The company has been awarded grants from the U.S. Government to develop saRNA vaccines with the aim to protect military personnel from a broad spectrum of deadly viruses and to continue its development of an saRNA vaccine against Enterovirus D68, a respiratory virus which affects children. HDT Bio also is collaborating with National Cancer Institute to develop saRNA vaccines to prevent and treat multiple cancers.

Through Blue Knight, HDT Bio will be a virtual company in JLABS, a global network of life science incubators.

HDT Bio’s vaccines are different from commercially available mRNA vaccines. The saRNA is a form of mRNA that amplifies itself inside the body enabling it to activate the immune system at much lower dose levels than mRNA vaccines. That makes HDT Bio’s vaccines not only less expensive to manufacture, but also safer.

In addition, the company’s LION™ formulation enhances stability of the RNA and does not require the ultra-cold storage of mRNA vaccines. Vaccines built on HDT Bio’s platform can be freeze-dried and stored at simple refrigeration temperatures, significantly reducing the costs and eliminating the barriers for distribution in developing nations.


HDT Bio is a Seattle-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical development company. With core technology and expertise in nucleic acid formulation, the company develops products that seek to harness host-directed immune responses. HDT Bio’s work focuses on infectious disease and oncology vaccines and therapeutics through early-stage collaborations with partners worldwide. The company’s vaccine platform, repRNA/LION™, combines formulation and adjuvant ingredients to stabilize and deliver self-amplifying RNA to the immune system to stimulate responses. HDT Bio’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first self-amplifying RNA vaccine to ever receive a regulatory authorization.