Our focus on targeted delivery of therapeutics began in the late 1980s with a collaboration between Dr. Sean Sullivan, Ph.D., Chair of the Science Advisory Committee and Dr. Scolaro, evaluating the efficacy of Liposomal-encased Daunorubicin in Kaposi’s sarcoma in AIDS patients.
In 1993, Dr. Scolaro founded the AntiViral Research Institute, later to become the Let There Be Hope Medical Research Foundation, a 501 C 3 non- profit research foundation dedicated to the development of immunoliposomal targeting of Antigen Presenting Cells of the immune system. Initial studies were aimed at eradicating HIV viral DNA reservoirs in cells of the immune system. Later, with a team of collaborators in clinical medicine and research science, the Foundation expanded its studies to include the treatment of multiple infectious diseases and cancers associated with immune suppression.
One of our earliest research projects was directed at the in-vitro inhibition of HIV1 proliferation with liposome encapsulated antisense and sense to a vital gene encoded in the HIV DNA. With Dr. Sean Sullivan, Ph.D., Dr. Robert Gieseler, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Peyman Javaherbin, M.S., laboratory director, and postdoctoral fellows from the U. of Göttingen, Germany, including Dr. Thomas Gabryziak, M.D., PhD, and Dr. Jörg Ruppert, Ph.D., as well as a team of scientists from Vestar, we completed our first major study on the inhibition of HIV viral replication by immunoliposomal targeting of infected CD4 cells, published in 1992.
This study provided the ground work for our subsequent development of carbohydrate-labeled nanocarriers to target immune cells intracellularly with high specificity and affinity for virally-infected reservoir cells.