Seattle company HDT Bio lands $1.8M U.S. Army grant to create nasal spray to fight viruses

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Seattle start-up HDT Bio HDT Bio, a Seattle-based startup, will create a nasal spray to fight a variety of respiratory diseases by securing a $1.8 million investment through the U.S. Army.

“We want to focus on not only the progression of disease but also transmission” Chief Operating Officer Christopher Pirie told Economic Pitch

HDT Bio’s technology is an exclusive nanoparticle that is able to deliver an RNA-attached to cells. This technology has been utilized to develop cancer treatment and vaccines. A COVID-19 RNA vaccine that is based on the company’s technology has been last week accepted by India.

The nasal spray of HDT will be inspired by the same method. The spray will comprise an atomized nanoparticle that is attached to a particular RNA that comes of the Hepatitis C virus.

The RNA was created in the hands of University of Washington immunology professor Michael Gale, who co-founded the business in 2019 along with Pirie and chief scientist Darrick Carter, UW professor Andre Lieber, and biotech expert and immunologist Steve Reed, who is CEO.

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It is believed that the “RIG-I activated RNA” initiates a broad antiviral response upon entering the body. Research conducted by companies in animals reveal that the RNA blocks replication of influenza A as well as COVID-19 viruses. When studying cells the RNA blocks other respiratory viruses like common cold viruses.

The company plans to conduct safety and effectiveness studies. The company expects clinical trials to start in 2025.

The spray “could be incorporated into the soldier’s equipment, allowing an immediate response to fatal virus pathogens” Reed said. Reed in an announcement. It is also possible to be applied to people in civilian life to help prevent or treat illness.

The grant follows on the following of an $1.5 million small-scale company funding grant awarded to HDT Bio from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop RNA-based treatments and vaccines for enterovirus D68. The virus is responsible for causing a severe neurological disorder that is most commonly seen in infants and children.

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