U.S. Congressman Rush Holt Visits VaxInnate; Lauds Government Funding for Development of Modern Flu Vaccines
CRANBURY, NJ, April 21, 2011 – U.S. Congressman Rush Holt (R-12th) visited the headquarters of VaxInnate Corporation today, where he congratulated the biotechnology company on having received a U.S. government contract to fund development of the next generation of flu vaccines and called for more technology investments to improve the health of all Americans.
The contract, worth up to $196 million over five years, was awarded to VaxInnate by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to fund the development of seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines using recombinant technology.
In a press conference held at VaxInnate’s Cranbury headquarters, Rep. Holt said it was gratifying to know that groundbreaking scientific research and development are taking place in Central New Jersey. He pointed out that continued investment in innovative research is an investment in the health of all Americans and a top priority. Rep. Holt noted that VaxInnate’s modern means of producing flu vaccines hold the promise of displacing current egg-based manufacturing.
Rep. Holt’s words were reinforced by Debbie Hart, President of BioNJ. “This award is an excellent example of government support of economic development at its best, where technology, innovation and the economy advance together. With access to capital a continuing challenge, both the State and federal government need to help fill that gap,” Hart said. “We salute Congressman Holt for his leadership in promoting innovation in biotechnology and congratulate VaxInnate on this important milestone.”
“We thank Congressman Holt both for his tireless efforts to represent the life sciences sector in the 12th District and for being a champion of innovation,” said Thomas Hofstaetter, PhD, President and CEO of VaxInnate. “This contract, which is an endorsement of VaxInnate’s proprietary technology, represents another significant milestone for us as a company. We look forward to working with BARDA to develop the next generation of vaccines to prevent seasonal and pandemic flu.”
VaxInnate produces highly immunogenic vaccines using a unique technology platform that effectively activates both the innate and adaptive immune systems. This technology – based upon recombinant expression of fusion molecules that combine the vaccine antigen with a potent immune stimulator, the toll-like receptor 5 (TLR-5) agonist, flagellin – conveys significant potency, speed, cost and capacity advantages.
In fact, VaxInnate’s technology makes it possible to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in as little as three to four months. In a pandemic, the speed and capacity of this technology makes it possible to supply the “first” and “last” doses of vaccine needed by the nation in several months. This is a significant improvement compared to time necessary to produce flu vaccines in either eggs or cell culture; using eggs or cell culture, only first doses of vaccine can be produced in this same time frame.
About VaxInnate and the BARDA Contract
VaxInnate is a privately-held biotechnology company in Cranbury, NJ that is pioneering breakthrough technology for use in developing novel and proprietary vaccines. VaxInnate’s vaccines focus on infectious diseases, including seasonal and pandemic flu, malaria, and dengue.
The BARDA contract initially provides funding of $118 million for a base period of 36 months, which VaxInnate anticipates will completely fund our flu vaccine development program during this period. BARDA has a subsequent option to extend the contract for another 24 months with an additional $78 million of funding, for total funding of $196 million. Previous research and development of the flu vaccine at VaxInnate was financed without U.S. Government funding.
VaxInnate has generated positive Phase I and Phase II clinical data for its flu vaccines. Prototype seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines were also demonstrated to have superior potency in elderly subjects. For more information about VaxInnate, please visit https://vaxinnate.com.