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Vaxxilon receives grant for vaccine development

Vaxxilon develops synthetic vaccines in order to combat resistant bacteria. Having received funding from the CARB-X network, a Phase 1 clinical trial can now also be conducted. BaselArea.swiss is a member of CARB-X.

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Vaxxilon aims to discover and develop vaccines against major infectious diseases. In this context, the Basel-based company is currently developing a product candidate in the form of VXN-319 to combat the Gram-negative bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae (crKP), which is resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. The bacteria can cause severe infections “primarily in intensive-care and other hospitalized patients”, as explained by Vaxxilon in a press release. The new funding will now allow Vaxxilon to drive forward development.

The network CARB-X has now awarded Vaxxilon funding in the amount of 1.4 million dollars, with the possibility of an additional 3.1 million dollars based on the achievement of certain milestones. CARB-X is the world’s largest public-private partnership, supporting fundamental research into the fight against resistant bacteria. The network is intending to invest a total of 500 million dollars by 2021. As a representative of the Basel region, a leading center for antibiotics research, the local business promotion organization BaselArea.swiss is also a member of CARB-X. BaselArea.swiss supports companies eligible for funding from CARB-X, while it also advises the network with regard to supporting companies.

Tom Monroe, CEO of Vaxxilon, was quoted in the press release: “The complete CARB-X award will enable us to conduct the full preclinical development, GMP manufacturing, and a Phase I clinical trial for VXN-319”. GMP (good manufacturing practice) defines a set of regulations for production processes in the pharma industry. “Carbapenems are a powerful class of antibiotics and when those treatments are ineffective in patients, the infections become very difficult to treat”, Monroe adds. In this context, infections as a result of Klebsiella pneumoniae can lead to mortality rates of 50 percent. Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X and Professor of Law at Boston University, was also quoted in the press release: “Vaxxilon’s vaccine, if approved for use in patients, could prevent deadly infections and save the lives of thousands of patients in hospitals worldwide who might otherwise contract infections and die.”

Vaxxilon was founded in 2015 and is owned by Idorsia, a pharmaceutical company based in Allschwil BL, the Max Planck Society and Seeberger Science.

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