Vaccizone chooses partner to fast-track development of COVID-19 vaccine

July 7, 2022 - 3 minutes
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A vaccine development company has chosen a partner to fast-track the development of its SARS-CoV-2 product for European clinical trials.

Vaccizone has chosen viral vector contract development and manufacturing company (CDMO) antigen delivery technology Exothera S.A to accelerate the vaccine.

Vaccizone is the inventor of the ASC Technology, a first-in-class antigen delivery platform for generating vaccines and targeted immunotherapies for multiple terminal illnesses. It has developed and patented a method for delivering not only antigens but bioactive compounds which can increase the stability and shelf life of complex biotherapeutics, like vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and cell and gene therapies and used against a whole spectrum of different infectious diseases and cancer types.

Bioproduction platforms

Exothera uses bioproduction platforms to rapidly deliver affordable viral sector-based vaccines along with cell and gene therapies.

In Vaccizone’s Covid-19 vaccine, ASC protein microparticles carry the tRBD domain of the SARS‑CoV‑2 spike protein, forming a fusion with human ASC protein. The technology increases both the antigenicity of the Covid-19 antigen and enhances its stability at high temperatures, during freeze-thaw cycles, and in the presence of organic solvents.

Vaccizone selected Exothera to industrialize its COVID-19 vaccine production process in the scale-X technology (from Univercells Technology) and to manufacture clinical material for toxicological studies and European Phase I clinical trials.

Thibault Jonckheere, chief executive officer at Exothera said: “We want to help biotherapeutics developers to achieve their goals in a fast and affordable way. Through our full-service offering, we will be able to follow Vaccizone’s Covid-19 vaccine journey to the clinical trial side-by-side, from the plasmid manufacturer selection to the clinical material manufacturing and release, providing state-of-the-art technology, and quality and safety support.”

The collaboration will take advantage of Exothera’s full service offering which covers plasmid supply, full upstream and downstream process development, and manufacturing. The project will cover proof-of-concept at small scale to drug substance and drug product manufacturing, including digital signal processing development, analytical toolkit assays set-up, quality control validation and chemistry, manufacturing, and controls support. This single partner approach will accelerate Vaccizone’s readiness for clinical trials.

Developing vaccines

Prof. Nesrin Ozoren, founder at Vaccizone said: “At Vaccizone, we are creating a platform for developing vaccines and immunotherapies for unmet needs. Especially the need for cold-chain logistics proved to be a big obstacle to widespread access to new generation vaccines.”

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He said the company’s ASC Technology promises unmatched thermostability as well as superior immune response. He said that with ASC Technology while developing precision immunotherapies targeting biomarkers, the cold-chain logistics requirement is eliminated.

Ozoren added: “We have seen great results on our COVID-19 and cancer preclinical data. We are excited to partner with Exothera and benefit from their state-of-the-art technology and operational expertise. We see this collaboration on our COVID-19 program with Exothera as the first step of a broader partnership covering multiple programs.”

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