Vaxxas is commercialising a microneedle-array-patch (MAP) for the efficient delivery of vaccines that dramatically enhance the performance of existing and next-generation vaccines. The company believes its innovative needle-free technology will be fundamental to help the world in rethinking what's possible with vaccines.

Vaxxas was established based on a suite of intellectual property around the design and use of the MAP originally developed in the laboratory of Prof. Mark Kendall at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at University of Queensland. The company was set up in 2011, raising a Series A financing round from Brandon Capital (investing out of its 2 VCLPs, BBF1 IIF Partnership, LP and MRCF IIF, LP), One Ventures (investing out of an ESVCLP) and Boston based Healthcare Ventures.

The Company then raised a $36 million Series B financing in Q2 2017, with these funds predominantly coming from the One Ventures managed funds (including ESVCLPs). In April 2020, the company raised a $15 million Series C investment from global pharma company Merck.

Vaxxas' MAP technology has now been validated in human clinical studies and has been shown to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of a vaccine's immune response. The company uses proprietary dry-coating technology that can eliminate or significantly reduce the need for vaccine refrigeration during storage and transportation, easing the resource and logistics burden of maintaining the vaccine "cold chain".

Vaxxas is targeting initial applications in infectious disease and oncology and has forged collaborations with leading global organisations in vaccine commercialisation, including Merck/MSD, the United States Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)(pandemic flu), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (measles and rubella).

Recently, Vaxxas has in-licensed a COVID-19 vaccine which it is now developing on its MAP delivery platform. If successful, a COVID-19 vaccine on the Vaxxas MAP delivery system would not require to be kept in a cold chain and nor would it require to be administered by a highly trained healthcare professional. The Vaxxas MAP technology could become an important part of the global fight against pandemic infections.

The VCLP and ESVCLP programs played a critical role in providing the initial investment capital required by Vaxxas to take the MAP vaccine delivery technology from a lab at AIBN in Brisbane to its early clinical studies. Today, headquartered in Brisbane, Vaxxas has over 70 highly skilled (STEM) employees most based at its sites in Brisbane. The Company is continuing to rapidly expand and, indeed, has just begun to build its first manufacturing facility in Brisbane.

In September, the Australian Investment Council lodged a very important submission with the Federal Department of the Treasury in response to the Venture Capital Tax Concessions Review which was announced as part of the Government’s Digital Economy Strategy in the 2021–22 Federal Budget. The review has been focused on how effective VCLPs, ESVCLPs and AFOFs have been in attracting domestic and foreign capital, developing innovation, and expanding venture capital management skills and experience in the domestic market. Read the submission here.

Published February, 2022

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