French biotech gets funding for universal flu and coronavirus vaccines

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Dan Meshkov)
(Image: Getty/Dan Meshkov)

Related tags Osivax Coronavirus COVID-19 Influenza Vaccines

Osivax receives public funding to apply its vaccine technology to protect against COVID-19 and future coronavirus strains.

The company, based in Lyon, France, announced yesterday that it had been granted €47.6m ($53.9m) from various sources to support the development of universal vaccines against coronavirus and influenza.

Osivax has taken its universal flu vaccine candidate, OVX836, through to Phase IIa trials. The potential vaccine targets the nucleoprotein, which is an antigen with a low mutation rate found in every flu variation, the company stated.

The company also has a coronavirus vaccine at the proof-of-concept stage, which utilizes the same approach to protect a recipient from SARS-Cov-2 and future strains of the virus.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) chose Osivax to receive a grant of up to €17.5m that will be utilized by the biotech to support the completion of the aforementioned Phase IIa trial.

In addition, the EIC pledged €15m in equity into Osivax’s Series B financing round, with the capital raise intended to take the flu vaccine candidate into Phase IIb trials, as well as some of the funds going towards its coronavirus vaccine.

“Osivax is founded on a ground-breaking technology capable of producing a universal flu vaccine that delivers long-term protection despite naturally-occurring mutations,”​ said Alexandre Le Verte, CEO of Osivax.

Bpifrance also provided €15.1m to specifically support the biotech’s universal vaccine against SARS-Cov-2.

The Cochin Vaccine Evaluation Center will aid the company by conducting Phase I and Phase IIa trials into the potential vaccine.

Further than flu and the coronavirus, Osivax also has malaria and human papillomavirus vaccines in its pipeline, with the former being put through Phase I trials.

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