CEPI and VBI Vaccines Collaborate to Advance Vaccine Candidates Against COVID-19 Variants
CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and VBI Vaccines Inc. (Nasdaq: VBIV), today announced a partnership to develop VBI’s enveloped virus like particle (eVLP) vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the B.1.351 variant, also known as 501Y.V2, first identified in South Africa.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210310005316/en/
CEPI will provide up to $33m to support the advancement of VBI-2905, a monovalent eVLP candidate expressing the pre-fusion form of the spike protein from the B.1.351 strain, through Phase 1 clinical development. As part of the agreement, this funding will also support preclinical expansion of additional multivalent vaccine candidates designed to evaluate the potential breadth of VBI’s eVLP technology. This preclinical expansion is intended to develop clinic-ready vaccine candidates capable of addressing emerging variants.
Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said:
“Remarkable progress has been made to develop safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, but in parallel to the global roll out of vaccines we must now redouble our R&D efforts so we have the tools we need to tackle emerging variants of the virus. I am delighted that CEPI will support the development of VBI’s promising vaccine candidates against variants of concern, which crucially can be made globally accessible through COVAX if proven to be safe and effective.
“Today, CEPI also launches its 5-year plan to substantially reduce, and in the long-term even eliminate, the risk of epidemic and pandemic diseases, including coronaviruses. If we are to achieve this future, we must act now by investing in crucial R&D to optimise our vaccination strategies and technologies.”
Jeff Baxter, President and CEO of VBI, said:
“We are grateful for CEPI’s partnership, support, and confidence in our eVLP approach to vaccine development. We look forward to working with CEPI, who has played a crucial role in the development of COVID-19 vaccines over the last 12 months, and we remain steadfast in our mission to contribute to the end of the ongoing pandemic and the long-term protection against coronaviruses.”
VBI’s eVLP technology has been supported by investment from the Government of Canada, which is a long-standing and vital CEPI supporter and investor.
Karina Gould, Canadian Minister of International Development, said:
“Canada is deeply committed to its vaccine partnerships. The innovative collaboration announced today will help to ensure that millions will have access to safe vaccines against COVID-19 and future infectious disease threats.”
Race against viral mutation
CEPI is investing in the development of vaccines against COVID-19 variants to help the world to stay one step ahead of the virus.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly mutating. Variant B.1.1.7 (first identified in the UK) is up to 70% more transmissible than the virus that emerged in Wuhan and has since been confirmed to be associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation and death. Variants B.1.351 and P.1 (identified in South Africa and Brazil, respectively) are even more concerning. They spread rapidly, can reinfect people who have been infected before, and they are rendering our countermeasures—including our vaccines and monoclonal-antibody treatments—less effective. The increased transmissibility of these variants could result in a reversal in the global downward trends in transmission seen in recent weeks resulting in a renewed burden on health systems, and more deaths.
Equitable access key to ending acute phase of pandemic
The rate of viral mutation is a function of the global spread of the virus, so it is imperative to control transmission everywhere. CEPI is therefore committed to enabling global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and, through this agreement, CEPI and VBI have agreed that the vaccine candidates supported by CEPI will be made available to the COVAX Facility for procurement and allocation, if proven to be safe and effective. The COVAX Facility aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, at all levels of development, that wish to participate. To date, COVAX has delivered vaccines to over 30 countries, with the aim of distributing 2 billion doses globally in 2021.
VBI’s eVLP Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates
VBI Vaccines is advancing a suite of coronavirus vaccine candidates, under the VBI-2900 program, developed using the Company’s proprietary eVLP platform technology in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada. Coronaviruses are enveloped by nature which make them a prime target for VBI’s eVLP platform technology. VBI’s eVLP technology is flexible and highly customizable, allowing for expression of multiple protein antigens of interest on the surface of the particles. eVLPs create a close mimic of the natural presentation of viruses and they carry multiple copies of the target protein, designed to trigger a potent immune response.
Through this partnership with CEPI, VBI will develop VBI-2905 through Phase 1, and additional multivalent candidates through preclinical studies. VBI and CEPI expect to initiate Phase 1 studies of VBI-2905 – the first eVLP-based vaccine candidate in the CEPI portfolio - mid-year 2021.
An adaptive Phase 1/2 study of VBI-2902 is already ongoing at nine clinical sites in Canada, having initiated earlier in March 2021, and is supported by a contribution from the Canadian Government’s Strategic Innovation Fund.
Notes to Editors
Preclinical Data from VBI’s eVLP Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates
Previous preclinical studies suggest the highly potent and immunogenic potential of the eVLP platform. In a series of preclinical studies of VBI-2902, a monovalent eVLP expressing the stabilized pre-fusion form of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, neutralizing antibody (nAb) geometric mean titers (GMT) elicited by the vaccine candidate registered 4x higher than the GMT of high-titer convalescent sera after one dose, increasing to 64x higher after two doses. Additionally, preclinical evaluation of VBI-2901, a trivalent eVLP candidate expressing the SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV (SARS), and MERS-CoV (MERS) spike proteins, showed the vaccine induced antibody titers to all three coronaviruses expressed in the vaccine, in addition to a seasonal human coronavirus, HCoV-OC43. Broadened reactivity to HCoV-OC43, a coronavirus not expressed in the vaccine candidate, suggests that VBI’s multivalent eVLPs may allow for the production of broadly reactive antibodies, which offer potential for protection from known and emerging variants of COVID-19.
CEPI’s $3.5 billion investment case – The Urgency of Now. Turning the tide against epidemic and pandemic infectious diseases
The full investment case, published today, may be accessed at www.endpandemics.cepi.net.
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated 12 partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships. The aim is to advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible.
Before the emergence of COVID-19 CEPI’s priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).
About VBI Vaccines Inc
VBI Vaccines Inc. (“VBI”) is a biopharmaceutical company driven by immunology in the pursuit of powerful prevention and treatment of disease. Through its innovative approach to virus-like particles (“VLPs”), including a proprietary enveloped VLP (“eVLP”) platform technology, VBI develops vaccine candidates that mimic the natural presentation of viruses, designed to elicit the innate power of the human immune system. VBI is committed to targeting and overcoming significant infectious diseases, including hepatitis B, coronaviruses, and cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as aggressive cancers including glioblastoma (GBM). VBI is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with research operations in Ottawa, Canada, and a research and manufacturing site in Rehovot, Israel.
COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator. It is co-led by CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) with lead delivery partner UNICEF, working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, Civil Society Organisations and others. COVAX is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to economies of all financial means.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-looking Information
Certain statements in this press release that are forward-looking and not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). The Company cautions that such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may materially affect the Company’s results of operations. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including but not limited to, the impact of general economic, industry or political conditions in the United States or internationally; the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our clinical studies, manufacturing, business plan, and the global economy; the ability to establish that potential products are efficacious or safe in preclinical or clinical trials; the ability to establish or maintain collaborations on the development of therapeutic candidates; the ability to obtain appropriate or necessary governmental approvals to market potential products; the ability to obtain future funding for developmental products and working capital and to obtain such funding on commercially reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to manufacture product candidates on a commercial scale or in collaborations with third parties; changes in the size and nature of competitors; the ability to retain key executives and scientists; and the ability to secure and enforce legal rights related to the Company’s products. A discussion of these and other factors, including risks and uncertainties with respect to the Company, is set forth in the Company’s filings with the SEC and the Canadian securities authorities, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 2, 2021, and filed with the Canadian security authorities at sedar.com on March 2, 2021, as may be supplemented or amended by the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Given these risks, uncertainties and factors, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. All such forward-looking statements made herein are based on our current expectations and we undertake no duty or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law.
About Business Wire
(c) 2018 Business Wire, Inc., All rights reserved.
Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in multiplatform press release distribution.
Subscribe to releases from Business Wire
Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Latest releases from Business Wire
Verimatrix To Participate in SportsPro Live Virtual Panel: How To Transform Physical Spaces into Digital Ecosystems22.4.2021 17:45:00 CEST | Press release
Regulatory News: Verimatrix, (Paris:VMX) (Euronext Paris: VMX), the leader in powering the modern connected world with people-centered security, today announced that Lu Bolden, Chief Revenue Officer, is slated to participate in a SportsPro Live virtual panel discussion from 9:10 to 9:55 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, April 29. The event, which unites sports and technology professionals from across the globe, aims to prepare the industries for the future of sport. Bolden’s panel is slated to take place in the South Stand and discuss how technology can connect the in-venue experience to create more revenue opportunities. The group, moderated by Mike Bohndiek, CEO of PTI Digital Group, will also discuss what strategies and technologies can best deliver the new digital experiences. Other speakers on the panel include: Michael Cole, Chief Technology Officer, PGA European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe Adam Heintz, Senior Vice President, Business Intelligence, Monumental Sports & Entertainment “T
Rajeev Bhalla Named Director of Board at Next Level Aviation22.4.2021 17:39:00 CEST | Press release
Seasoned senior finance executive Rajeev Bhalla has been named a Director of the Board at Next Level Aviation, a leader in the aerospace used serviceable materials (USM) market. He brings wide-ranging financial, operational, and strategic expertise to the company as it plans substantial growth in the coming years, both organically and through acquisition. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210422005834/en/ Rajeev Bhalla has been named Director of the Board of Next Level Aviation. He will help guide the company’s planned growth in the coming years, both organically and through acquisition. (Photo: Business Wire) Bhalla’s background includes demonstrated discipline and expertise in finance, governance, and team development. This comes through current work as a Cerberus Operating Partner, board of director roles as well as experience in a number of successful companies. Notably, those include: Circor International,
Medical Aesthetic Products’ Manufacturer Croma-Pharma Launches “Croma is More” E-Learning Series for Health Care Professionals22.4.2021 17:00:00 CEST | Press release
Croma-Pharma GmbH (Croma) always strives to support physicians in their work in the best possible way. For this reason, the company has developed an interactive e-learning platform with continuing education offerings for physicians working in the field of minimally invasive aesthetic. In this way, Croma aims to help health care professionals achieve sustainable growth and success in their medical clinics/practices. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210422005727/en/ Social Media Training for Health Care Professionals Copyright: Croma-Pharma GmbH (Graphic: Business Wire) Medical professionals can choose from a broad variety of different formats: Social Media & Online Marketing Facial Anatomy Workshops Aesthetic Startup Academy Aesthetic Excellence A variety of topics is presented by Industry experts. All the content comes with lifetime access hence the health care professionals can learn on their own schedule and
PerkinElmer Supports PROXIDRUGS Consortium Aimed at Advancing Targeted Protein Degradation/PROTAC Drugs22.4.2021 16:44:00 CEST | Press release
PerkinElmer, Inc., a global leader committed to innovating for a healthier world, today announced that it is serving as a provider and co-developer of assays, instrument solutions and expertise for the PROXIDRUGS Consortium which is zeroing in on research for proximity drugs or PROTACs (PROteolysis Targeting Chimeras). PROTACs are a new class of drugs that take advantage of the body’s own cell protein recycling system to fight disease by tapping into the 80% of disease-relevant proteins that are currently untargeted by today’s available therapeutics. Led by Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, the Consortium includes researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology, and global pharmaceutical companies based in Frankfurt’s Rhine-Main region. The research project, starting October 2021, aims to streamline novel drug target validation by putting disease-relevant proteins in close proximity with key enzymes (su
Xsolla Acquires Slemma, an Advanced Data Analytics and Visualization Company22.4.2021 16:00:00 CEST | Press release
Xsolla, the video game commerce company powered by its Transaction Engine and Business Engine to help developers and publishers market, sell, connect and optimize their games globally, has announced the acquisition of Slemma, an advanced data analytics and visualization reporting platform. The web-based tools allow users to create simple, easy-to-use and dynamic data reports with customizable dashboards. Xsolla will integrate Slemma’s product suite into the Publisher Account to provide clients with next-level data visualizations, even connecting to third party tools and services including Amazon RDS, Microsoft Azure, Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, Zendesk, Salesforce and many more. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210422005443/en/ Xsolla acquires Slemma, a robust data analytics and visualization platform. (Graphic: Business Wire) “Everything we do at Xsolla focuses on providing the best experience, tools
Serie A Club Parma Calcio Signs Deal with Stats Perform for Access to the Most Sophisticated Player Identification Tool—Edge Recruitment22.4.2021 15:49:00 CEST | Press release
Today, Stats Perform, the sports tech leader in data and AI, announced a deal with Italian football club Parma Calcio, recently purchased by Iowa-based Krause Group, which will see the Serie A side become the first club worldwide to access the innovative Edge Recruitment platform, the industry’s most sophisticated player identification tool. Since the emergence of technical scouting during the mid-2000s, recruitment analysts have been using data to assess prospects through the lens of traditional on-field position labels. Launched earlier this season, Edge Recruitment introduces a new method of assessing players, applying multiple AI-powered models to profile players based on their role in a team. At the heart of Edge Recruitment is Role Discovery, a model which detects 18 different types of role all over the pitch based on a player’s spatial tendencies, contributions to different phases of play, possession involvement, distribution and shooting tendencies. Through applying Role Discov
Milliken & Company Publishes Third Annual Corporate Sustainability Report22.4.2021 15:00:00 CEST | Press release
Global manufacturer Milliken & Company today released its third annual corporate sustainability report, entitled Together for Tomorrow. This report, which analyzes Milliken’s performance through the lens of its holistic sustainability efforts, highlights its progress towards the 2025 sustainability goals the company set in 2018. Covering people, product and planet, this report creates increased accountability while inviting new conversations and collaborations as the company works to create a positive impact on the world that will last generations. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210422005332/en/ Together for Tomorrow: Milliken's Third Annual Corporate Sustainability Report (Photo: Business Wire) “Together, we met the critical moments from 2020,” shares Halsey Cook, president and CEO for Milliken. “We pivoted production lines, launched new innovations, and rallied our team to improve our sustainability metrics