Vaxxas makes two big announcements at Boston biotech expo

Brisbane-headquartered Vaxxas, which is commercialising a needle-and-syringe-free technology for vaccine delivery, has announced a new Chief Medical Officer and interim results from a recent Phase 1 trial using its technology to administer a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.

The company used the BIO International Convention in Boston to share news of the appointment of Dr Rochelle Chaiken (pictured.) Chaiken had a 23-year career at Pfizer, and brings “extensive experience designing and executing late-stage clinical trials and successfully launching new products” said Vaxxas in a statement on Tuesday (Australian time.)

“With Vaxxas’ plans to advance innovative programs using its vaccine patch technology platform, beyond those currently in the clinic, I look forward to applying my experience to support these efforts to change the vaccine paradigm,” said Chaiken.

The new hire was until recently Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer’s Biopharmaceutical Group for Emerging Markets, a role she held for five years, and will now report directly to Vaxxas CEO Dr David Hoey. 

“This is a pivotal time for the business as we advance our vaccine patch technology through multiple development programs with respective vaccines and partners,” added Hoey.

“Dr Chaiken’s extensive track record as a global senior leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, significant experience managing late-stage clinical trials, and successfully launching new products in markets, will be incredibly valuable to us.”

The Australian company, which was established in 2011 and based on research conducted at University of Queensland, uses a high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) to deliver vaccines directly under the skin’s surface. It currently has six clinical programs underway.

Vaxxas also provided interim results from a Phase 1 trial using a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate developed at the University of Texas.

According to Vaxxas, the trial involved 44 healthy adults – aged 18 – 50 years inclusive – and showed the patches “were well tolerated, with no serious or severe adverse events. Analysis of samples from day 28 shows the HD-MAP COVID-19 vaccine increased relevant antibody levels by eight-fold on average, and the antibody responses indicated a dose-dependent trend.”

Hoey called the early data “compelling” in a statement, and that his company delivery method for a next-generation spike protein “has the potential to offer best-in-class protection against COVID-19 along with cost-effective distribution without the need for extensive refrigeration.”

Vaxxas is progressing toward seeking approvals for a COVID-19 vaccine patch with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia and Food and Drug  Administration (FDA) in the United States. 

Successful completion of the phases in clinical studies could see their patches delivering Covid-19 vaccines “as early as 2025.”

Picture: supplied

Further reading

Clinical trials begin for flu vaccine-coated Vaxxas patches

Covid vaccine delivered using Vaxxas patch goes into clinical trials

Vaxxas and Aim Lab automate vaccination skin patch production

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top