GlycoVaxyn AG secures CHF 5.1 million Strategic Translation Award from the
Wellcome Trust to finance clinical development of Shigella vaccine
ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland, July 29, 2013
ZURICH-SCHLIEREN, Switzerland, July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Following
recently signed collaborations with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK) and
Janssen Pharmaceuticals (JPI), GlycoVaxyn AG, a leader in the development of
innovative conjugate vaccines, today announced that it has secured a Strategic
Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust to finance its Shigella program.
The award will allow the Company to advance its Shigella bioconjugate vaccine
by funding human safety and challenge studies in healthy adults to confirm the
efficacy of a monovalent Shigella flexneri 2a vaccine, before testing a
multivalent vaccine in field studies in children. Clinical trials are
scheduled to start in 2014 in the USA.
Shigella is one of the main causes of a diarrheal disease that causes illness
and death among young children in low-income countries. Various serotypes of
this Gram-negative bacterium are responsible for the diarrhea and, with
regional differences in serotype distribution, up to 6 serotypes need to be
included in a vaccine to provide broad protection and prevent Shigellosis
GlycoVaxyn's in vivo glycosylation technology enables the possibility to
develop such a complex multivalent Shigella vaccine for the first time.
Complexes of the antigenic surface polysaccharides and proteins can now be
directly synthesized in genetically engineered bacterial cells. This
multivalent Shigella bioconjugate vaccine can be manufactured at low costs, a
distinct advantage compared to conjugate vaccines that are chemically
"An estimated 1.1 million people die from Shigella infections each year,
mostly children under the age of five living in low income countries," said
Richard Seabrook, Ph.D., head of Business Development at the Wellcome Trust.
"With rising antibiotic resistance limiting our treatment options, we urgently
need an affordable vaccine that will provide broad protection against the many
strains of Shigella bacteria that cause disease."
Dr Michael Wacker, chief scientific officer of GlycoVaxyn added, "We are very
honored to work with this prestigious global charitable foundation and proud
to contribute to the development of a vaccine that addresses a critical
medical need among millions around the world. GlycoVaxyn has previously
conducted a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers on a single serotype Shigella
conjugate vaccine. This collaboration will enable us to investigate a new
vaccine against a different single serotype, moving this important program
forward towards a broad acting vaccine that protects against multiple
Gordon Dougan, Ph.D., member of GlycoVaxyn's Scientific Advisory Board and
professor at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge commented,
"GlycoVaxyn is using highly innovative technology to break open new fields in
vaccinology. I am delighted to see them work together with the Wellcome Trust
to apply this technology to vaccines for children suffering from dysentery."
About GlycoVaxyn AG
GlycoVaxyn is a privately-funded company developing a portfolio of novel
bio-conjugate vaccines against common severe bacterial infections produced
with its unique, proprietary in vivo glycosylation platform. With this
platform, the company can develop and produce immunogenic glycoprotein
conjugates in a biological process that circumvents many of the challenges and
uncertainties involved in currently used chemical methods. Besides Shigella,
the portfolio includes preclinical programs targeting major infectious
diseases such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae.
GlycoVaxyn is funded by a top-tier group of private investors including
Sofinnova Partners, Index Ventures and Edmond de Rothschild Investment
Partners and recently entered collaborations with GSK and JPI. For further
information, visit www.glycovaxyn.com.
About The Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving
extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the
brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's
breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application
of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and
GlycoVaxyn AG Russo Partners, LLC
Tel: +41-44-733-8595 Tel: +1-212-845-4226
SOURCE GlycoVaxyn AG
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