Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited has acquired the assets of California-based company Zosano Pharma Corporation.
Emergex is a clinical stage biotechnology company addressing major global infectious diseases through the development of fully synthetic CD8+ T cell Adaptive Vaccines.
The assets acquired include intellectual property, license agreements, and manufacturing equipment. They also include Zosano’s proprietary microneedle array patch (MAP) intradermal drug delivery system, including a reusable applicator, solid coated microneedle array patch technology, product packaging, methods for formulation and microneedle coating, and specialized equipment, designed and built for clinical and commercial manufacture of the technology.
Emergex has previously completed proof-of-concept studies, coating Zosano’s MAP technology-based microneedle patches with Emergex vaccine candidates and observed favorable shelf-life characteristics. This acquisition provides Emergex with an innovative MAP delivery technology as well as optimized manufacturing capability for the technology.
Brian Pfister, vice president at Emergex USA said: “The vaccines being developed by Emergex have been designed for intradermal administration, and we have been exploring delivery using microneedle patches for some time.
“We feel that the MAP technology developed by Zosano is an exceptional strategic fit that complements our CD8+ T cell Adaptive Vaccine platform and intend to develop the MAP technology acquired from Zosano for delivery of our vaccines. We look forward to future clinical study with our vaccine coated patches.”
Intradermal delivery of vaccines and MAP technology
The human skin is rich in antigen-presenting cells. It has been proposed that delivery of vaccine antigens to/through the skin (i.e., intradermal delivery) rather than to muscle or subcutaneous tissue could induce superior protective immune responses while using smaller quantities of vaccine antigen.
Additionally, MAP technology may reduce or eliminate the cold chain logistics from manufacture to use location and enable vaccine doses being shipped directly to patients, thereby making vaccines more accessible. Such an approach has potential to greatly streamline “the last mile” of vaccine administration globally.