Vaxxas announced today that it was granted an exclusive license for a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine to be used with its delivery patch.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Vaxxas received the license from The University of Texas at Austin for its HexaPro SARS-CoV-2 spike subunit vaccine. The license comes with a companion background technology license from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
According to a news release, it enables Vaxxas to create the first needle-free, room-temperature, stable COVID-19 vaccine patch to enter clinical studies. PharmaJet is currently involved in clinical trials outside the U.S. for the delivery of a DNA vaccine with a needle-free platform.
In October 2020, Vaxxas received a $22 million award from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support a clinical study for the patch.
UT Austin designed HexaPro as a highly stabilized protein that mimics the structure of the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus to train the human immune system to recognize and fight SARS-CoV-2 infection. Preclinical studies demonstrated enhanced virus-neutralizing antibody and T-cell responses against all variants of concern, including alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron, when HexaPro was delivered with Vaxxas’ HD-MAP patch compared to needle and syringe vaccination.
Vaxxas plans to complete a Phase 1 clinical trial of the proprietary HexaPro/HD-MAP COVID-19 vaccine this year.
“The compelling preclinical results published in Science Advances established the potential superiority of the HD-MAP/HexaPro COVID-19 vaccine compared to delivery using the traditional needle and syringe,” Vaxxas President and CEO David Hoey said in the news release. “We can now rapidly advance our clinical trials with our next-generation COVID-19 vaccine patch.”