Vaxess announces $9 million in funding for mRNA vaccine patch

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags mRNA mRNA vaccine Vaccine funding

Vaxess Technologies, a life sciences company developing a shelf-stable vaccine patch with potential for self-application, has announced an additional $9 million in venture capital funding, with investors including RA Capital, The Engine, and GHIC, and Ulu Ventures.

The new round brings Vaxess’s total equity and non-dilutive funding to more than $80 million.

In August 2023, Vaxess announced its collaboration with AstraZeneca for the evaluation of an RNA-based pandemic influenza prototype vaccine in patch format.

In April, Vaxess announced mRNA stability results from tests assessing the potential for room-temperature storage.

The testing found that Vaxess’s silk fibroin formulations protect mRNA lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) through drying and maintain in vivo potency after storage at 37°C for two weeks.

The company is now focusing on the translation of the mRNA LNPs stored in silk fibroin matrices into a Vaxess MIMIX sustained release patch.

Vaxess’s patch technology consists of a soluble microarray, featuring tips that gradually dissolve into the body after the patch is removed and release their payload of vaccines over time.

This extended therapeutic presentation mimics how natural infections interact with the body. By allowing the immune system time to mount a stronger, more durable response, soluble microarrays have the potential to provide protection against diseases. The dissolving needles also eliminate any sharps hazard, allowing for simple disposal of the patch after administration.

Michael Schrader, CEO and co-founder of Vaxess, said: “As we head into the fall and winter months, we’ll be reminded that there’s still much work to be done around increasing vaccination rates and improving vaccine efficacy for a range of diseases, from flu to COVID. This new funding — which comes from an extraordinary group of VCs focused on technology, biopharma, and broader societal impact — will enable Vaxess to accelerate mRNA vaccine patch development efforts, and work towards fundamentally changing how mRNA vaccines are distributed and administered.”

Kathy Chen, partner at Ulu Ventures, added: “Imagine a world where vaccines don't require trips to the clinic, cold chain transport, or needle and syringe injection — this would meaningfully expand access to preventative care. With proven distribution advantages and enhanced efficacy of protection, Vaxess's unique approach could play a pivotal role in improving public health globally. We're excited to work with the company as it commercializes its first patches.”

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