Bavarian Nordic A/S announced Thursday that it has entered into a joint collaboration with Evaxion Biotech, a Danish biotechnology company, and Technical University of Denmark (DTU), for the development of an MVA-BN-based vaccine against MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) using Evaxion’s computer-based technology to discover novel antigens. The same approach could potentially be used to target any other bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics.
Based on promising efficacy results demonstrated by Evaxion in preclinical models, Bavarian Nordic intends to engineer and produce a recombinant MVA-BN-based vaccine candidate, which will be investigated in additional preclinical studies by DTU. If proven safe and efficacious, human trials could occur in 2019.
The project has received initial funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark in the amount of DKK 17 million (USD 2.5 million*), which in part will fund Bavarian Nordic’s production of MVA-BN-based MRSA vaccine candidates.
MRSA is associated with deaths and a high rate of hospitalization, and thus carries a high burden in terms of public health care costs. MRSA remains a major challenge in the healthcare sector due to high infection risk during treatment and surgery of patients, in particular those with weak immune systems. There is no MRSA vaccine available and therefore an effective MRSA vaccine would reduce mortality and infection rates.
“We are pleased to join this collaboration and take part in the efforts to develop an effective vaccine that may eventually help improve public health and reduce mortality” said Paul Chaplin, Ph.D. and Chief Executive Officer of Bavarian Nordic. “In addition, this collaboration provides an opportunity to investigate MVA-BN in new indications, which yet again broadens the scope of our vaccine platform technology.”