SRI's in-house CRO inks a $49M deal with NIH

The CRO unit of nonprofit researcher SRI International has paired up with NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), signing a $49 million contract to handle preclinical work on potential treatments for HIV.

Under the 7-year agreement, SRI Biosciences will help advance new candidates for the virus, helping to ready lab discoveries for clinical study. SRI's CRO is on tap to provide pharmacology and toxicology testing, all the while developing, manufacturing and analyzing dose formulations.

The goal is to develop treatments that can target HIV, AIDS and the many opportunistic infections associated with the virus. In addition, NIAID is working up microbicides that could help prevent sexual transmission of HIV.

With SRI Biosciences in tow, the institute is hoping to help investigators, startups and staff to get the data they need to lock down new funding, ink partnerships and file INDs with the FDA.

For SRI, the contract caps a decades-long relationship with NIAID, through which its CRO has handled safety testing of more than 200 drug and vaccine candidates at various stages of development.

"SRI Biosciences has been supporting NIAID since 1991 in the development of new therapeutics for HIV/AIDS," Managing Director Jon Mirsalis said in a statement. "We are honored to receive this award to continue this vitally important work."

SRI Biosciences has become an increasingly important segment of its parent organization. Last year, SRI spent $2.8 million to add 2,500 square feet of space for preclinical research, drug discovery and drug development programs to a Virginia R&D hub.

- read the statement