Inimmune in Missoula lands $2M grant for vaccine delivery, including COVID-19

A Missoula biotech company received a $2 million grant from the National Institute for Allergy and Infections Diseases this week to help it advance a new delivery system for vaccines, including COVID-19.

Inimmune Corporation, founded by four pharmaceutical experts and a team of researchers in 2016, said the funding will enable the company to advance a synthetic delivery system using new technologies.

“This award builds on a strong adjuvant and immunotherapy pipeline at Inimmune and will help the company advance novel vaccines and treatments closer to testing in human clinical trials,” said Dr. David Burkhart, Inimmune co-founder and CEO.

Adjuvants are vaccine components that stimulate and direct the immune system to enhance immunity to a vaccine. Burkhart said the team will advance a “stable and safe adjuvant delivery platform that elicits strong immune responses” against a infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

The project’s lead researchers include Burkhart and Dr. Shannon Miller. The research will result in a new adjuvant system that’s ready for clinical evaluation at the end of the two year contract.

“It’s exciting to work on projects that will advance the field of vaccine science and increase the availability of safe and effective vaccine adjuvants,” said Miller. “Particularly given the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great to see so much interest and investment in new vaccines and innovative technologies”.

Inimmune conducts research at the Montana Technology Enterprise Center and the University of Montana’s Center for Translational Medicine.