Innovative vaccine stabilization company adds experts with extensive experience in vaccine development and formulation
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts—April 4, 2014—Vaxess Technologies, Inc., an innovative life sciences company developing a novel vaccine stabilization technology, announced today the addition of two new members to the company's scientific advisory board: Thomas Monath, MD, and Russell Middaugh, PhD. Dr. Monath and Dr. Middaugh will be instrumental in guiding the development of Vaxess's proprietary platform, which harnesses the unique properties of fibroin, a protein derived from naturally sourced silk fibers, to greatly improve the thermal stability of vaccine products.
"A large portion of vaccines on the market today have benefitted in some way from the work of Dr. Monath or Dr. Middaugh," said Vaxess CEO Michael Schrader. "We're thrilled to have them join us in our efforts to expand access to these life-saving products for more people around the world."
Dr. Monath, a veteran of the vaccine industry, was Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director of Acambis from 1992 to 2006, where he oversaw the development of dengue, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, C. difficile, and smallpox vaccines. Acambis was acquired by Sanofi Pasteur in 2008. Prior to Acambis, Dr. Monath served in the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Army for 24 years. During that time, he was Director of the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases at the CDC and Chief of the Virology Division at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Most recently, Dr. Monath was a partner in the Pandemic and Biodefense Fund at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and an Adjunct Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
"I am very pleased to be associated with Vaxess, which is developing an innovative and highly promising approach to improving vaccine stability," remarked Dr. Monath. "Enhancing the stability of vaccines could greatly improve the way they are manufactured, potentially reduce costs, and facilitate delivery to the most vulnerable populations in tropical countries."
Dr. Middaugh, an expert in the fields of biophysical chemistry and pharmaceutical formulation, is the Takeru and Aya Higuchi Distinguished Professor in the department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas. He is also former director and current scientific advisor of the KU Macromolecule and Vaccine Stabilization Center, which specializes in the characterization, stabilization, and formulation of biological drugs and vaccines and works with a number of industry, governmental, and non-profit partners. Prior to joining the KU faculty in 1997, he worked in Merck's Vaccine Division and held academic posts at MIT, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Minnesota.
"The adequate stabilization of vaccines and other biotechnology based products remains a major problem," remarked Dr. Middaugh. "The new silk-based Vaxess proteins offer a very promising novel approach to a solution to this ongoing difficulty."
About Vaxess Technologies
Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2012, Vaxess Technologies is pioneering a novel and proprietary stabilization technology for vaccines. The silk-based platform technology was developed in the labs of biomedical engineering professors David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto at Tufts University. For more information please visit the company website at www.vaxess.com or send additional inquiries to [email protected]