CEPI partners with Intravacc to develop an intranasal, broadly protective Betacoronavirus vaccine

OSLO, Norway and BILTHOVEN, The Netherlands I October 6, 2022 I CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and Dutch vaccine clinical development and manufacturing organization Intravacc, today announced the latest funding award under CEPI's to advance the development of vaccines that provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 (including its variants) and other Betacoronaviruses.

CEPI will provide seed funding of up to US$4.8 million to Intravacc - a world leader in translational research and development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines - to advance the development of a broadly protective Betacoronavirus vaccine candidate, which can be delivered intranasally.

CEPI's funding will support preclinical development and testing of Intravacc's subunit vaccine candidate (Avacc 101), which is based on its Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) platform.

This technology has the potential to be rapidly adapted to address outbreaks of disease caused by emerging Betacoronavirus strains and variants, and, also to protect against pre-emergent Betacoronaviruses (i.e., before they "spillover" from animals to infect humans). Specifically, the Avacc 101 vaccine candidate will be designed to provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-1, SAR-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV. This platform will enable presentation of universal Spike molecules and will include "epitopes" that can also elicit T-cell responses.

Unlike the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use, this candidate will be delivered intranasally. This method of administration could help to produce the mucosal immunity needed to block viral infection thereby reducing person-to-person transmission.

Enabling equitable access
CEPI is committed to the principle of equitable access to the vaccines it funds. Under the terms of the funding agreement, Intravacc has committed to achieving equitable access to the outputs of this project, in line with CEPI's Equitable Access Policy.

Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI said:
 "The latest waves of Omicron subvariants in the US, UK, Europe and elsewhere show that SARS-CoV-2 still poses a serious threat to a still fragile global recovery. To secure the gains we've made, we must continue to develop vaccines that provide broad protection against these variants to mitigate the need for regular variant boosters, and which can also provide protection against other, more lethal, coronavirus threats including MERS-CoV. Investing in, initiating the development of, and enabling equitable access to broadly protective coronavirus vaccines should be an integral part of the world's long-term strategy out of the COVID-19 pandemic and defence against future threats."

Dr. Jan Groen, CEO Intravacc said:
 "This is the real beginning of a new era for intranasal vaccines. Teaming up with CEPI is a big step forward: from 'best alone', to 'better together' In this way, we can leverage Intravacc's OMV platform for the vaccine the world so desperately needs."

Notes to editors
CEPI's $200m all-in-one coronavirus vaccine program
Including today's announcement, CEPI has to date announced funding for 12 programs to advance the development of vaccines that could provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other Betacoronaviruses:

  • MigVax Ltd– funding of US$4.3m to MigVax Ltd to support the initial development of a new orally administered subunit vaccine tablet that could offer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants
  • University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO)– funding of US$5m to support the initial development of a new vaccine based on VIDO's novel protein subunit technology that could offer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variant
  • Affinivax– funding of up to $4.5m to support the initial development of a vaccine candidate based on Affinivax's MAPS platform that could offer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants
  • SK bioscience– funding of up to US$50m to support the development of a vaccine candidate based on SK's nanoparticle vaccine platform to elicit immune responses that could protect against variants of both SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and others
  • Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) and Panacea Biotec– funding of up to US12.5m to support the development of multi-epitope, nanoparticle-based vaccine candidates that could provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other Betacoronaviruses
  • BioNet Asia– funding of up to US$16.9m to advance the development of a novel mRNA-based vaccine that could offer broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants
  • DIOSynVax– funding of up to US$42m to support the development of a broadly protective Betacoronavirus vaccine using mRNA platform technology
  • NEC Corporation – funding of up to US$4.8m to support the initial development of an AI-designed vaccine based on mRNA technology that protects against a broad range of betacoronaviruses.
  • Bharat Biotech/ University of Sydney/ ExcellGene – funding of up to US$19.3m to support the development of an adjuvanted subunit vaccine designed to provide broad protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants.
  • Codiak Biosciences – funding of up to US$2.5m to advance their proprietary exoVACC TM platform from its pan Betacoronavirus program through preclinical studies.
  • Center for Process Innovation-led consortium/California Institute of Technology/University of Oxford/Ingenza – funding of up to US$30m to advance the development of the mosaic vaccine coronavirus technology up to Phase I trials, including preclinical work, that could protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants and other SARS-like betacoronaviruses.
  • Intravacc – funding of up to US$4.8 million to advance the development of a broadly protective Betacoronavirus vaccine candidate subunit vaccine candidate (Avacc 101), based on the company's Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) platform, which can be delivered intranasally.

About CEPI
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Prior to COVID-19, CEPI's work focused on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus—it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

During the current pandemic, CEPI initiated multiple programs to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access. These programs leverage the rapid response platforms developed by CEPI's partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19 as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation to these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.

CEPI's 5-year plan lays out a $3.5 billion roadmap to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, develop a universal vaccine against COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses, and create a "library" of vaccine candidates for use against known and unknown pathogens. The plan is available at http://www.endpandemics.cepi.net. Follow our news page for the latest updates. Follow us via @CEPIvaccines@DrRHatchett, and LinkedIn.

Learn more about "The Race to Future-Proof Coronavirus Vaccines" here.

About Intravacc B.V
Intravacc, located at Utrecht Science Park Bilthoven in the Netherlands, is a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) of innovative vaccines against infectious diseases. As an established independent CDMO with an outstanding track record in vaccine development and vaccine technologies, Intravacc has transferred its technology related to polio vaccines, measles vaccines, DPT vaccines, Hib vaccines and influenza vaccines around the world. Around 40% of childhood disease vaccines are based on Intravacc's proprietary technology. Intravacc offers a wide range of expertise to develop vaccine from concept to Phase I/II clinical studies for partners around the world, including universities, public health organizations (WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), biotech and pharmaceutical companies. For more information, please visit www.intravacc.nl.

SOURCE: Intravacc

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