THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

AmVac receives two grants from EU for vaccine development

AmVac, a Switzerland-based biopharmaceutical company, announced the approval on Tuesday of two European Union grant applications for the development of flu and leishmaniasis vaccines.

The projects are joint initiatives of AmVac, vaccine design and development research institutes and other European companies. All participating partners will receive approximately $7.8 million for the flu vaccine project and $7.2 million for the leishmaniasis vaccine project over five years.

During the funding periods, both vaccines are anticipated to complete Phase I clinical trials.

"It is an excellent opportunity to leverage our investments and create significant potential for patients and investors-even more so, as both projects are expected to complete first clinical trials within the funding periods," Melinda Karpati, chief executive officer of AmVac, said.

In the first project, the participating partners mean to develop a universal flu vaccines that can be used over several years. Traditional flu vaccines target variable antigens on the surface of viruses and must be newly adapted and produced each year. The new vaccine will be based on antigens that are common across strains and mostly stable over time. AmVac will help in the vaccine design process and provide its MALP adjuvant to optimize vaccine efficacy.

The collaborators will work together on the second project on a leishmaniasis vaccine to prevent an infectious disease transmitted by a sand fly species. The disease is found in parts of the tropics, subtropics and southern Europe, and there is no currently available vaccine.

The grant applications were approved under the EU's seventh framework program, which must only be matched to 25 percent by small- and medium-sized companies like AmVac.