Goal ‘to change the cancer research narrative in Africa’ by applying HDT Bio’s advanced technology to help reduce inequalities in health care

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA and SEATTLE, WA (January 30, 2023) – HDT Bio Corp., a developer of immunotherapies for infectious diseases and oncology, and the University of Pretoria’s Pan African Cancer Research Institute (PACRI) announced today a collaboration to apply HDT Bio’s – RNA technology and its proprietary LION™ family of delivery systems for the development of cancer vaccines and treatments for all Africa.

HDT Bio has devised multiple approaches for applying its technology to develop not only new cancer treatments, but also vaccines which could prevent and treat the deadly disease in people diagnosed with various cancers.

“This agreement is another step forward in HDT Bio’s mission to aid our partners by sharing our cutting-edge technology to address inequities in global health care,” said CEO Dr. Steven Reed. “About 70% of all cancer related deaths occur in low middle income countries (LMICs) and cancer is emerging as a major public health problem in the Sub-Saharan Africa. While cancer care has drastically improved in high income countries (HICs), the African region is still challenged in prevention, detection and access to quality treatment. We look forward to working with PACRI to help alleviate this burden and to including PACRI in our extensive oncology network, which includes multiple international partners and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.”

Professor Zodwa Dlamini, PACRI Founding Director and Executive Head, said, “The HDT Bio-PACRI partnership brings HDT Bio’s RNA-based cancer vaccines and immunotherapies to the African region, addressing cancer disparities and inequities and enhancing inclusion efforts. This  will transform the cancer research narrative in Africa and globally. The partnership will also provide a genomic context for the testing of novel immunotherapies, adjuvants and vaccine candidates for cancer.”

“With collaborations and partnerships with other institutions, the University of Pretoria will make great strides in fighting cancer and its socio-economic impact on society,” said Professor Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria. “The University of Pretoria through PACRI, its centre of excellence, is committed to developing internationally competitive cancer research capabilities in Africa with an emphasis on Afrocentric innovation and finding homegrown solutions for the cancer challenges faced by the continent. In the spirit of ‘Defeating Cancer Together,’ PACRI has a strong drive in collaborative transdisciplinary research that addresses cancer health disparities and its impact on underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged populations.”

The HDT Bio – PACRI agreement includes a commitment to collaborate on fundraising and to share laboratory facilities and resources with the aim of validating potential therapies in clinical trials conducted in Africa. “This collaboration shifts the center of gravity for creating innovative cancer solutions to Africa. As a continent, Africa has lagged behind in evaluating immunotherapies and cancer vaccines. This initiative will hopefully accelerate access to therapeutic solutions that have been lacking on our continent,” said Professor Glenda Gray, SAMRC President and CEO.

HDT Bio’s RNA vaccines target a variety of antigens linked to pancreatic, colon, breast, prostate and other cancers that can treat the disease as well as prevent it in people diagnosed with specific mutations associated with the cancers. The vaccines also can be designed to prevent cancer causing viral diseases, such as human papilloma virus and hepatitis B.

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 platforms,  combine formulation and adjuvant ingredients to stabilize and deliver  RNA to the immune system to stimulate responses. HDT Bio’s COVID19 vaccine is the first self-amplifying RNA vaccine to ever receive a regulatory authorization. https://www.hdt.bio

The mission of the Pan African Cancer Research Institute (PACRI) is to be a world class cancer research institute dedicated to pushing the boundaries of precision oncology, cancer prevention and bringing new approaches for early diagnosis and novel therapeutic agents to improve health outcomes in Africa. PACRI aims to reduce health inequalities, and strengthen health systems in underserved and socio-economically disadvantaged communities. PACRI researchers and physicians are dedicated to understanding the biology of cancer, and applying that knowledge to design cancer therapies and prevention strategies that are mainly relevant and beneficial to the populations of Africa.https://www.up.ac.za/the-university-of-pretoria-pan-african-cancer-research-institute-pacri

The University of Pretoria (UP) is one of the largest contact and residential universities in South Africa, with its administration offices located on the Hatfield Campus, Pretoria. This 115-year-old institution is also the largest producer of research in South Africa.

Spread over seven campuses, it has nine faculties and a business school, the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). It is the only University in the country with a Faculty of Veterinary Science, ranked top in Africa. Overall has 120 academic departments and 92 centres and institutes, accommodating more than 55 000 students and offering about 1 100 study programmes.

The University of Pretoria is one of the top five universities in South Africa, according to the latest Times Higher Education World Reputation and Shanghai rankings. The QS World University Rankings also placed UP among the top 100 universities worldwide in three fields of study (veterinary science, theology, and law). UP is in the top 1% in 13 fields (agricultural sciences, biology and biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, pharmacology and toxicology, economics and business, clinical medicine, engineering, environment/ ecology, immunology, microbiology, plant and animal sciences, and social sciences), according to the Web of Science Essential Indicators.

The University also has an extensive community engagement programme with approximately 33 000 students involved in community upliftment. Furthermore, UP is building considerable capacities and strengths for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by preparing students for the world beyond University and offering work-readiness and entrepreneurship training.

For more information, go to www.up.ac.za