Vaxess Technologies – a life sciences company developing a shelf-stable vaccine patch with potential for self-application – recently announced an additional $9 million in venture capital funding, with investors including RA Capital, The Engine, GHIC, and Ulu Ventures. This funding round brings Vaxess’ total equity and non-dilutive funding to more than $80 million.
Last month, Vaxess announced that it is collaborating with AstraZeneca for the evaluation of an RNA-based pandemic influenza prototype vaccine in patch format. And in April, Vaxess announced mRNA stability results from tests assessing the potential for room-temperature storage. The testing determined that Vaxess’ silk fibroin formulations protect mRNA lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) through drying, and maintain in vivo potency after storage at 37°C for two weeks. Plus, the company is now focusing on the translation of the mRNA LNPs stored in silk fibroin matrices into a Vaxess MIMIX sustained release patch.
Vaxess’s MIMIX patch technology consists of a soluble microarray, featuring tips that gradually dissolve into the body after the patch is removed and release their payload of vaccines over time. And this extended therapeutic presentation mimics how natural infections interact with the body. By enabling the immune system time to mount a stronger, more durable response, soluble microarrays have the potential to provide unprecedented protection against diseases. The dissolving needles also eliminate any sharps hazard, allowing for simple disposal of the patch after administration.
“As we head into the fall and winter months, we’ll be reminded that there’s still much work to be done around increasing vaccination rates and improving vaccine efficacy for a range of diseases, from flu to COVID. This new funding — which comes from an extraordinary group of VCs focused on technology, biopharma, and broader societal impact — will enable Vaxess to accelerate mRNA vaccine patch development efforts, and work towards fundamentally changing how mRNA vaccines are distributed and administered.”
— Michael Schrader, co-founder and CEO of Vaxess
“Imagine a world where vaccines don’t require trips to the clinic, cold chain transport, or needle and syringe injection — this would meaningfully expand access to preventative care. With proven distribution advantages and enhanced efficacy of protection, Vaxess’s unique approach could play a pivotal role in improving public health globally. We’re excited to work with the company as it commercializes its first patches.”
— Kathy Chen, Partner at Ulu Ventures
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