Brisbane-based medtech Vaxxas has today announced the completion of a $34 million financing round which will fund the expansion of its manufacturing capabilities towards a commercial scale, and advance ongoing clinical trials of its needle-free vaccine technology.
It adds to an $8 million Federal Government grant received by Vaxxas in September and comes just a month after the company commenced clinical trials of its proprietary high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) at the University of Sunshine Coast’s Sippy Downs clinical research labs.
The latest round was led by existing investors OneVentures and UniQuest, with new backers including members of the Vaxxas board of directors, management personnel, and a number of individual investors.
“Our confidence has only been reinforced by Vaxxas’ tremendous progress in building a promising clinical pipeline based on its novel HD-MAP vaccination platform,” OneVentures founding partner and head of healthcare Dr Paul Kelly said.
“Vaxxas’ needle-free vaccination technology has shown in preclinical and clinical studies to have the potential to improve the availability and efficacy of vaccines for a range of serious and prevalent diseases, including COVID-19 and influenza.
“We are pleased to continue supporting the Vaxxas team through this pivotal time in the company’s growth.”
In addition to funding the installation of the company’s first manufacturing lines with capacity to support its initial products, the financing will accelerate the clinical program for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine patch candidate.
Results from pre-clinical animal studies of the COVID vaccine candidate delivered by Vaxxas’ HD-MAP published in Science Advances showed the potential efficacy of the patch against all currently known variants of concern.
This Phase I trial will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate in 44 healthy adults, aged 18 to 50 years inclusive, who have had three doses of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine with the last dose received at least four months prior to participating in the study.
In addition to assessing the safety of the vaccine, the trial will gather signals related to antibody and T-cell responses to dosing with the patch-delivered vaccine candidate.
“This financing from a strong syndicate of experienced life science investors reflects the significant potential of our considerable product pipeline and novel needle-free vaccination technology,” Vaxxas CEO David Hoey said.
“With a strong foundation to our HD-MAP platform, we are well positioned to advance multiple product opportunities toward commercial launch.
“In the near-term, we will continue to advance our lead COVID-19 vaccine program along with other clinical initiatives, and execute our go-to-market strategy of building commercial-scale manufacturing capacity and high throughput production lines.”
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