Intravacc looks to contract research, intranasal and cancer vaccine pipeline as revenue drivers

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/smshoot
© GettyImages/smshoot

Related tags intranasal Cancer vaccine polio

Dutch group, Intravacc, has launched a hybrid business model that it believes will fuel growth and innovation.

Its new structure consists of both contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services and a business focused on the development of a proprietary vaccine pipeline.

It reported the signing of a number of multi-year contracts with profit and non-profit organizations in respect of its CDMO business. “Revenues derived from our contract research activities will form the basis of our revenue growth,​” said CEO, Dr Jan Groen.

Prior to its privatization in January this year, Intravacc, which is located at the Utrecht Science Park Bilthoven in the Netherlands, was a Dutch government vaccine research institute with a pipeline of vaccine candidates against bacterial and viral infections. A key feature of these vaccines is their administration through the nose. They include sIPV (Polio), RSV, whooping cough (Bordetella Pertussis), and Gonococcal (Neisseria gonorrhoeae), but also the Avacc-10 vaccine against COVID-19, now under development.

The company outlined how these proprietary vaccines will be marketed under a partnership or licensing agreement, following completion of a phase I clinical trial, with the idea that they will eventually contribute about 20% to Intravacc's turnover.

Dr Groen described Intravacc’s proprietary pipeline of intranasal vaccines as “promising”.

“Intravacc will initiate a financing round, possibly together with a partner, to enable the development of these vaccines up to clinical phase I,”​ commented the CEO.

The results of a preclinical study for the company’s nasal spray vaccine for COVID-19, Avacc-10, were recently published​ on the preprint site, bioRxiv.

“Unlike the patented COVID-19 vaccines currently on the market, Avacc-10 is free of licensing fees and inexpensive to produce. Because it is free of licensing fees, this vaccine is also eligible for the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) program,” ​claimed the developer.

Cancer vaccines 

The company is also putting emphasis on the therapeutic vaccine market. It is currently developing a therapeutic vaccine for bladder cancer and hopes to start a phase I study in late 2023.  “Our new hybrid business model makes Intravacc well positioned to capitalize on the rapidly growing market for therapeutic cancer vaccines (TCV),” ​continued Dr Groen.

Vaccine contract development projects for rare diseases and oncology are currently booming, noted Intravacc.

“Recent major success with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) showed what was possible to treat cancer patients. We now see research and development resources freed up by ICI are shifting towards the development of therapeutic cancer vaccines. Now more than 500 different cancer vaccines are in various stage of development.  However, process development, manufacturing and scale-up of therapeutic cancer vaccines in general one of the major challenges. The relatively small patient population for rare diseases and cancer in general combined manufacturing challenges will drive up the prices of these type of vaccines.”

And, Virgil Schijns, CSO at Intravacc, weighed in on that field, saying the company believes, within five to ten years, patients will be treated with therapeutic cancer vaccines, probably in combination with complementary immunotherapies.  

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