The funds, part of which were awarded to CDMO Catalent, will fund the evaluation, development and manufacturing scale-up of thermo stable and cold-chain independent nano-pharmaceutical virosome-based vaccine candidates.
Of the €8.4m, a total of €5.3 million is funded as part of Horizon 2020, the European Union research and innovation framework program, and up to €3.1m of the funding will be provided by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for the Swiss based consortium partners, which include Mymetics and Bachem.
The EU Horizon 2020 project, which will last for three-and-a-half years, is named MACIVIVA, which stands for “Manufacturing process for Cold-chain Independent Virosome-based Vaccines.”
The project brings together leading contract manufacturers, including Catalent’s Swindon, UK facility, the manufacturing hub of its Zydis fast-dissolve formulation technology, as well as other companies’ expertise for spray drying, freeze drying and analytical techniques to develop a scalable manufacturing process to achieve thermos-stable and cold-chain independent virosome-based vaccines.
“With more than 90% of the existing vaccines dependent on the cold-chain and the resulting detrimental impact on availability, efficacy and costs of these vaccines in developing countries, there is an undisputable need to innovate and manufacture vaccines that are stable and temperature independent,” said Ronald Kempers, CEO of Mymetics.
Germany’s Chimera Biotech and the UK’s Upperton were also awarded grants.
“Catalent is pleased to be part of this consortium of cross-industry partners bringing innovative technologies together to address a serious global issue in the over-reliance on the cold chain with existing vaccines,” added Barry Littlejohns, Catalent’s President of Advanced Delivery Technologies.