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Vaxxas awarded $5.4 million for typhoid vaccine clinical studies

Manufacturing News

Needle-free vaccine delivery company Vaxxas has announced it was awarded $5.4 million from charitable foundation Wellcome for initial studies and a  Phase I clinical trial of a potential second-generation typhoid vaccine delivered using Vaxxas’ technology.

In a statement on Thursday, the Brisbane-based clinical-stage company said the project is expected to be completed within two years, and will use an approved typhoid conjugate vaccine coated on Vaxxas’s proprietary high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) delivery system.

HD-MAP uses thousands of tiny needles invisible to the human eye to deliver vaccines directly under the skin’s surface, where there are abundant immune cells.

The vaccine was jointly developed by Vaxxas’ collaborator in the project, SK bioscience, and the International Vaccine Institute. It will be formulated for stability at higher temperatures than required for needle and syringe vaccination.

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening systemic infection caused by a salmonella bacterium, usually contracted via ingestion of contaminated food or water. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 9 million people globally are infected annually, with approximately 110,000 deaths.

“We believe our HD-MAP has the potential to play a critical role in extending the global reach of typhoid conjugate vaccines, and make a significant difference to the lives of many,” said Vaxxas CEO David Hoey.

SK bioscience also manufactures vaccines for influenza, shingles and chickenpox, and received initial funding for  its typhoid vaccine development from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

“Typhoid fever is a dangerous disease that frequently occurs in lower- and middle-income countries due to poor water quality and hygiene, but typhoid vaccines have not been widely used due to the need for them to be thermostable and administered by a doctor,” said SK bioscience CEO Jaeyong Ahn said. 

Vaxxas announced the opening of its global headquarters and new manufacturing site in Brisbane in June, the custom-built 5,500m² Vaxxas Biomedical Facility.

The company was established in 2011 and based on research conducted at University of Queensland.

It was part of this title’s recent Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers list.

Picture: supplied

Further reading

Vaxxas opens new Brisbane manufacturing facility

Vaxxas makes two big announcements at Boston biotech expo

Vaxxas and Aim Lab automate vaccination skin patch production

Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers revealed

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