US government doles out $99M HIV research and manufacturing deal to Maryland's ABL

In recent years, the U.S. government has dished out billions of dollars to support COVID-19 vaccine research and production. Now that those shots are widely available, other diseases are gradually moving back into the spotlight. 

Tuesday, Rockville, Maryland’s Advanced BioScience Laboratories revealed that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID's) Division of AIDS has awarded a seven-year contract worth up to $98.9 million to support pediatric HIV prevention research and product manufacturing. 

Under the deal, ABL says it will provide the U.S. government with animal models, bioanalytical services, product manufacturing and scientific and regulatory services to support research into next-gen, non-vaccine HIV prevention measures for the pediatric patient population. 

Potential approaches include intravaginal rings, long-acting injectables and combination drugs, ABL said. 

A subsidiary of France’s Institut Mérieux, ABL is a global CDMO focused on biotherapies, oncolytics and viral vector vaccines. The company is based in Rockville and operates manufacturing sites in the U.S. and Europe. 

ABL is a frequent government partner and has supported NIAID’s HIV research since the 1980s, the company said in its release. 

In one prior NIAID collaboration, the agency awarded up to $102 million for ABL to support biologics manufacturing and characterization over the span of a decade.