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.
Company News: Scil Technology Receives Public Research Grant for Novel Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments
Scil Technology GmbH, a biopharmaceutical company with core expertise in protein drug development, formulation and analytics, today announced that it has been awarded research funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under BMBF’s KMU-innovativ scheme. The EUR 0.9 million grant supports Scil Technology’s research program to explore the therapeutic potential of repellent proteins for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The course of RA is affected by the destruction of cartilage tissue and inflammation of the joints. Recently, it has been published that so-called repellent proteins inhibit fundamental processes relevant for the development of the disease. Repellent proteins therefore bear the potential to provide the first causative treatment of RA.
The money will be used for the GMP production and further clinical studies of its lead candidate SM101, a recombinant, soluble, non-glycosylated version of the Fc gamma receptor IIb. SM101, which has been granted orphan drug designation in the European Union and in the US, has already entered Phase Ib/IIa clinical studies in Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), with interim results anticipated for next year. In addition, the company plans to initiate a Phase IIa study in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) mid next year.
Moreover, SuppreMol will explore the therapeutic potential of SM101 in Lupus Nephritis, a subcategory of this autoimmune disease affecting primarily the kidneys, and evaluate the compound in animal models for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Last not least, the funds will be used for the preclinical development of an anti-FcgRIIb monoclonal antibody, which, due to the different properties of this molecule compared to SM101, may have beneficial therapeutic potential in certain autoimmune diseases.
The C round was led by MIG AG with BioMedPartners AG as co-lead. The other existing investors Santo Holding GmbH, KfW Mittelstandsbank, Bayern Kapital GmbH and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft also participated in the round which was joined by FCP Biotech Holding GmbH as new investor.