VAXIMM receives grant to expand pipeline of oral cancer vaccines Basel (Switzerland), Mannheim (Germany), October 2nd, 2012 – VAXIMM AG, a Swiss-German biotech company focusing on cancer vaccines, today announced that its German subsidiary VAXIMM GmbH has been awarded a grant from the leading-edge BioRN cluster “Cell-based and Molecular Medicine” to expand its oral T-cell vaccine technology platform. The cluster competition is a program of Germany ́s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to promote top-notch innovation in Germany. VAXIMM’s lead candidate VXM01 is an oral T-cell vaccine, which targets the tumor vasculature.
It is currently in Phase I/II clinical evaluation in pancreatic cancer patients at the Heidelberg University Hospital. The funding from the leading-edge cluster program will be used to develop additional cancer vaccines complementary to VXM01, which are based on the same oral T-cell vaccine technology. A second candidate (VXM06), which targets an undisclosed, abundant, tumor-specific antigen, is already in preclinical development. Two further product candidates are at discovery stage.
VAXIMM’s oral T-cell vaccine technology has a number of advantages. The platform can easily and rapidly generate new vaccines, including multivalent vaccines. The resulting products combine oral efficacy with safety and excellent tolerability. Moreover, the vaccines do not require a complex manufacturing infrastructure. “We are pleased about the recognition of the potential of our oral T-cell vaccination platform,” said Dr. Heinz Lubenau, General Manager of VAXIMM GmbH. “It allows leveraging our work on VXM01 to add additional products to our promising pipeline.”
VAXIMM’s oral T-cell vaccine platform is based on an approved, live attenuated bacterial vaccine strain, which has been applied in millions of individuals for prophylactic vaccination, and is safe and well tolerated. To yield its oral T-cell vaccines, this strain is modified to carry the genetic information of a specific target antigen. After oral vaccination with such modified bacteria, patients are mounting a strong specific cellular immune response against the target. So-called killer cells of the immune system are then targeting and destroying the corresponding cancer or cancer-associated cells. As a result, the tumor shrinks, while metastasis formation and growth are inhibited. The scalable platform offers many advantages, such as oral efficacy, good tolerability, and ease and low cost of candidate generation and manufacturing.
VAXIMM is a privately held, Swiss- and German-based biotech company that is primarily focused on developing active immunotherapies (vaccines) for patients suffering from cancer. Its initial product candidate VXM01 is targeting the tumor vasculature, which is essential for tumors to grow beyond microscopic size. VXM01 has shown impressive anti-tumor activity in numerous animal studies and commenced human clinical trials in 2011. VAXIMM was formed in 2008 as a joint venture of BB Biotech Ventures and Merck KGaA to develop VXM01. Merck Serono Ventures, Sunstone Capital, and BioMedPartners joined as investors in 2010. VAXIMM GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of VAXIMM AG, located in Mannheim, Germany. For more information, please see www.vaximm.com.
About VAXIMMs Oral T-cell Vaccine Technology
Dr. Heinz Lubenau
Tel.: +49 621 8359 687 10