02 Nov 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Vaxxas, a UniQuest start-up established in 2011 to commercialize the Nanopatch vaccine delivery system based on research from the University of Queensland (UQ), won the Janssen 2012 AusBiotech Emerging Company Award at the national conference in Melbourne last night.
Congratulating the Vaxxas team on another award to add to its impressive list of achievements, UniQuest MD, Dr David Henderson, said that, "There are very few Australian biotechnology companies, which could match the number of significant achievements Vaxxas has logged in just over 12 months, including investment and licensing deals as well as wining the Australian Innovation Challenge and the Best Venture Capital Investment at the 2012 Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards, held at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington DC."
Vaxxas' Nanopatch technology originated from Professor Mark Kendall's research group at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) within UQ. UniQuest led the initial commercialisation of the Nanopatch technology prior to Vaxxas being formed with a $15 million syndicated investment led by One Ventures with Brandon Capital, Healthcare Ventures, and the Medical Research Commercialization Fund.
Vaxxas recently appointed an international CEO, Mr David Hoey, as the first step towards establishing operations in Massachusetts, US, to expand access to global pharmaceutical partners and complement the company's research and development operations based in Queensland.
Earlier this month Vaxxas announced a research collaboration with Merck (MSD). The collaboration will evaluate Vaxxas' proprietary needle free delivery technology that induces robust immune system activation by targeting vaccines to the abundant immunological cells immediately below the surface of the skin. The deal included Vaxxas granting Merck a licence for the technology for commercial use for an undisclosed vaccine candidate.