Vaxxas Initiates Research Project on Advancing Next Generation Technology for Polio Vaccine Delivery

WHO to Provide Funding of Project, as Part of Its Efforts to Secure Lasting Polio-Free World

September 16, 2014 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & BRISBANE, Queensland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vaxxas, a biotechnology company commercializing a novel vaccine delivery platform, today announced the initiation of a research project to evaluate Vaxxas' proprietary Nanopatch™ platform for delivery of polio vaccine. The Nanopatch induces robust immune system activation by targeting vaccine to the abundant immunological cells immediately below the surface of the skin.

"The research we are undertaking with WHO's support aims to provide better vaccine solutions to reach all children anywhere with this life-saving health intervention."

The World Health Organization (WHO) will provide funding to Vaxxas to support its polio vaccination research, specifically for pre-clinical studies and good manufacturing practices (GMP). Following the successful completion of this research, and all subsequent necessary clinical development and regulatory approvals, Vaxxas would have the opportunity to supply Nanopatches to help secure a lasting polio-free world.

Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century, resulting in limb disfigurement and irreversible paralysis in tens of millions of cases. As recently as 1988, more than 350,000 cases occurred every year in more than 125 endemic countries. Concerted efforts to eradicate the disease have reduced incidence by more than 99%, and efforts are being intensified to eradicate the remaining strains of transmission once and for all.

"The Nanopatch doesn't need to be kept refrigerated to maintain its efficacy – a tremendously important factor for the transportation and application of polio vaccine in the remote regions of the world where eradication efforts are most challenging," said David L. Hoey, CEO of Vaxxas. "The research we are undertaking with WHO's support aims to provide better vaccine solutions to reach all children anywhere with this life-saving health intervention."

Vaxxas was founded in August 2011 with the completion of a $15M Series A equity financing. In late 2012 the company opened a commercialization office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to expand access to global pharmaceutical partners and complement the Company's research and development operations based in Queensland, Australia. In order to capitalize on the numerous opportunities to commercialize its proprietary Nanopatch platform, Vaxxas is pursuing strategic plans to both license its technology to global pharmaceutical companies as well as advance vaccine candidates on its own. Vaxxas has a collaboration with Merck & Co. Inc. to evaluate, develop and commercialize Vaxxas' Nanopatch vaccine delivery platform for undisclosed vaccine candidates developed by Merck.

About Vaxxas

Vaxxas is a privately-held biotechnology company focused on enhancing the performance of existing and next-generation vaccines with its proprietary Nanopatch™ technology platform. Vaxxas' Nanopatch contains an ultra-high density array of projections – invisible to the naked human eye – that are dry-coated with vaccine. Application of the Nanopatch to the skin is pain free and rapidly delivers the vaccine to the abundant immune cell population immediately below the skin surface. In a wide range of preclinical studies Nanopatch delivery of vaccine achieves equivalent protective immunity as the needle and syringe – but with only 1/100th of the dose. It has also been shown that Vaxxas' proprietary dry-coating technology can eliminate the need for vaccine refrigeration during storage and transportation – removing the resource burden of maintaining the "cold chain." Leveraging both the potent immunogenic response and thermostability, Vaxxas is applying its technology to improve the performance of vaccines, with initial applications targeting infectious disease and oncology. The company has its first announced pharmaceutical company collaboration with Merck.

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