Mymetics-led consortium awarded €8.4m to develop thermo stable and cold-chain independent vaccines

Virosome vaccine technology and HIV vaccine candidate to be used to develop scalable manufacturing process within 3.5 years

Swiss biotechnology company Mymetics says its Netherlands-based subsidiary will lead a consortium that has received project grants of €8.4m to fund the development and manufacturing scale-up of thermo stable and cold-chain independent nano-pharmaceutical virosome-based vaccine candidates.

The European Union research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020 will provide €5.3m, and a further €3.1m by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

Of the total, €3.4m will fund Mymetics' activities, with the balance going to the consortium partners, Catalent, Zydis, Chimera Biotec, Upperton and Bachem.

Catalent's facility in Swindon, UK, the manufacturing hub of its Zydis fast-dissolve formulation technology, will receive a portion of the total fund.

Barry Littlejohns, Catalent’s President of Advanced Delivery Technologies, said: 'Catalent is pleased to be part of this consortium of cross-industry partners bringing innovative technologies together to address a serious global issue in the over-reliance on the cold chain with existing vaccines.

'Zydis is the world’s best-in-class, orally disintegrating tablet technology, and we believe our experience and expertise in this area can add substantially to the project as a whole.'  

There is an undisputable need to innovate and manufacture vaccines that are stable and temperature independent

Ronald Kempers, CEO of Mymetics, said: 'With more than 90% of the existing vaccines dependent on the cold-chain and the resulting detrimental impact on availability, efficacy and costs of these vaccines in developing countries, there is an undisputable need to innovate and manufacture vaccines that are stable and temperature independent.'

He added: 'We are very pleased that our virosome vaccine technology and know-how has been recognised together with the skills and expertise of our EU consortium partners. Funding this project can represent a major innovation in vaccine development.'

The 3.5-year Horizon 2020 project is called MACIVIVA (Manufacturing process for Cold-chain Independent Virosome-based Vaccines) and brings together leading contract manufacturers and expertise for spray drying, freeze drying and analytical techniques from the pharmaceutical industry to develop a scalable manufacturing process to achieve thermo stable and cold-chain independent virosome based vaccines.