Affinivax receives $22m funding for development of Staphylococcus aureus vaccine

pharmafile | March 10, 2021 | News story | Research and Development Affinivax, bacteria, vaccines 

Affinivax has received an award of $22 million funding from CARB-X, a global non-profit organisation, to develop a vaccine targeting Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacterial infections.

The novel vaccine is being developed for the prevention of S. aureus infections, the most common form of staph infections, in high risk adult populations using the company’s Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) vaccine technology platform.

The MAPS vaccine will include multiple highly conserved staphylococcal protein antigens, designed to elicit a robust immune response to address the complexity of the infection process of S. aureus. Leveraging the MAPS platform, the jab is expected to induce protective B‑cell responses, as well as Th17 and Th1 responses, against each of the protein antigens included in the vaccine.

Affinivax’s vaccine candidate offers the potential for effective and broad protection not only against invasive staphylococcal infections, but also from a reduction in mucosal colonisation by the bacteria, which is often the first step in pathogenesis.

The award from CARB-X will substantially fund all development activities for the MAPS S. aureus vaccine programme, through completion of the initial clinical study to assess safety and preliminary efficacy.

The organisation has committed funding of up to $22 million with the successful achievement of future manufacturing, preclinical, and clinical development milestones.

Preclinical data from a lead MAPS S. aureus vaccine candidate developed at Boston Children’s Hospital have demonstrated that impacting multiple immune pathways with a single vaccine offers the potential for both robust and broad protection from Staphylococcus aureus infection.

In preclinical studies, the protein antigens induced antibody responses that led to a reduction in mortality following invasive disease challenge, Th1 or Th17 responses that led to prevention of skin abscesses, the clearance of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract, and both B-cell and T‑cell responses that contributed to the prevention of dermonecrosis.

Steven B Brugger, CEO of Affinivax, said: “We very much appreciate the support of CARB-X and look forward to our partnership together as we advance this critically important vaccine towards clinical trials.

“As we face the significant global health challenges caused today by antimicrobial resistance, we believe our MAPS platform represents a significant step forward in vaccine technology and an opportunity to provide vaccines to protect the high-risk and older adult community from the impact from Staphylococcus aureus and other healthcare-associated infections.”

Darcy Jimenez

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