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GEN News Highlights : Oct 2, 2012

Funds Won for Oral T-Cell Cancer Vaccine Platform

Swiss-German cancer vaccines firm Vaximm said its German subsidiary received a grant through the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s BioRN (Biotech region Rhine-Neckar) cluster initiative to support expansion of its oral T-cell vaccine technology platform.

Vaximm’s oral vaccination platform is based on an approved live, attenuated bacterial vaccine strain, which is modified to carry a target antigen gene. The firm claims the platform can easily and rapidly generate new oral vaccines, including multivalent candidates, and doesn’t require a complex manufacturing process. Lead product, VXM01, is an oral T-cell vaccine targeting tumor vasculature, which is undergoing Phase I/II clinical evaluation in Germany. A second candidate targeting a tumor-specific antigen is in preclinical development, and discovery work is ongoing.

Vaximm says the latest funding will allow it to develop additional products complementary to VXM01, based on the same oral T-cell vaccine platform. The firm was established in 2008 as a joint venture between Merck KGaA and BB Biotech Ventures, to develop VXM01.