HiFiBiO Therapeutics Receives Grant to Research Long COVID and ME/CFS in Collaboration with UMass Chan Medical School

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Apr 16, 2024 – HiFiBiO Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotech company focusing on improving patient lives with single cell precision, today announced a new grant awarded by the Patient-Led Research Fund, a project of Patient-Led Research Collaborative and funded by Balvi. This grant is dedicated to a research initiative in collaboration with UMass Chan Medical School. The research will leverage HiFiBiO’s Drug Intelligence Science (DIS®) platform for single cell profiling to analyze samples from patients afflicted with neuroinflammatory and infection-associated chronic illnesses such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and long COVID. The collaborative initiative includes Liisa Selin, MD, PhD, professor of pathology, and Anna Gil, PhD, instructor of pathology, at UMass Chan.

Francisco Adrian, PhD, HiFiBiO’s Chief Scientific Officer, stated, “We are proud to have our advanced research capabilities recognized through this grant. Our partnership with UMass Chan is aimed at developing a comprehensive understanding of disease biology, particularly focusing on enhancing patient care for challenging diagnoses like long COVID and ME/CFS.”

Roshan Kumar, PhD, HiFiBiO’s Executive Director of External Innovation, added, “Working alongside Drs. Selin and Gil is an exciting endeavor. The grant allows us to thoroughly investigate the immune mechanisms underlying these illnesses and to characterize patient immune responses at single-cell resolution. We are hopeful our findings will identify new diagnostic markers and pave the way for therapeutic breakthroughs.”

Dr. Selin added, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Dr. Kumar and HiFiBiO Therapeutics. We share the same goal: to shine the light of good science onto infection-associated chronic illnesses and make a positive impact on the lives of patients.”

Project Title: Immune repertoire profiling of long COVID and ME/CFS patients

Investigators: Roshan Kumar, PhD, HiFiBiO Therapeutics; Liisa Selin, MD, PhD, and Anna Gil, PhD, UMass Chan Medical School

Patient Representatives: Megan Fitzgerald, PhD; Rivka Solomon, MS

Project Description: Multiple lines of evidence point to underlying immune abnormalities in patients with post-viral and infection-associated illnesses, such as long COVID and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). However, how these abnormalities relate to disease symptoms and mechanisms is unclear. In some instances, autoimmunity may underlie chronic illness, while in other cases viral reactivation or persistence may be the primary culprit, and the two may interact so that initial antiviral responses elicit prolonged autoimmune reactions. Defining the targets recognized by immune responses is critical for identification of patient subgroups with distinct underlying disease mechanisms and enabling precision treatment with immunomodulatory or antiviral therapy. In this project, we will apply novel single-cell profiling technologies to characterize immune repertoires and identify targets of B and T cell responses in ME/CFS and long COVID patients. By identifying autoantigens and viral targets of these immune responses, we will gain insight into underlying disease mechanisms defining patient subgroups that can be translated into diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic interventions.

About HiFiBiO Therapeutics

HiFiBiO Therapeutics is a clinical stage global biotech pioneering a unique high-resolution translational platform (DIS®, Drug Intelligence Science) to enhance the probability of success for immunotherapies. DIS® combines unique single cell capabilities with AI/ML approaches using patient samples to discover novel targets, effective antibody drugs, and predictive biomarkers. With DIS®, HiFiBiO gains an unprecedented understanding of immune modulation in human diseases which drives a robust clinical pipeline of transformative immunotherapies. Additionally, HiFiBiO has partnered with major multinational pharmaceutical and biotech companies applying its innovative DIS® platform and has been recognized as one of 2023’s Fierce 15 biotech companies. Additional information can be found at

HiFiBiO® and DIS® are trademarks of HiFiBiO and its affiliates.

About the Selin Lab

The Selin Lab is a viral immunology lab at UMass Chan Medical School focused on understanding human adaptive immune response. Liisa K. Selin’s lab studies T cell response in multiple neuroinflammatory, infection-associated chronic illnesses, such as ME/CFS, long COVID and Multiple Sclerosis. The Selin Lab seeks to conduct clinically significant research in order to advance diagnostics and treatment for these complex and chronic conditions.