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.”