Vaccine to Prevent Life-Threatening Drug-Resistant Infections Receives Funding

Vaxdyn’s KapaVax vaccine candidate targets Gram-negative pathogens
(Precision Vaccinations)

CARB-X announced the awarding of up to USD $892,000, plus a potential for an additional $6.36 million, to a Seville, Spain based vaccine development company.

Vaxdyn’s KapaVax vaccine candidate targets Gram-negative pathogens and could help curb the worldwide threat of drug-resistant bacteria.

Vaxdyn is using its proprietary technology to develop multi-antigen vaccines based on detoxified bacterial cells that present key antigens in their native conformation.

Announced in a press statement on July 7, 2020, Vaxdyn is the first Spanish biotech to be funded by CARB-X, a non-profit partnership investing $500 million in the development of innovative vaccines, antibiotics, and rapid diagnostics.

“The threat of drug-resistance underscores the importance of vaccines as powerful weapons to prevent disease as well as the spread of deadly bacteria,” said Erin Duffy, Chief of Research and Development of Boston-based CARB-X.

“The Vaxdyn project is in the early phases of development, but if successful and approved for use in patients, it could prevent drug-resistant pneumonia in patients with elevated risk, for example, those with chronic lung disease or diabetes, or patients undergoing cancer treatment.”

“This vaccine would also have the potential to prevent infections in newborns by stimulating maternal immunity in pregnant women, an issue of critical importance particularly in low-to-middle income countries around the world.”

KapaVax is under development as a prophylactic vaccine for the prevention of infections caused by drug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens including Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in multiple at-risk populations. 

These 3 bacterial pathogens are deemed serious public health threats.

There is a high prevalence of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections in low- and middle-incomes countries (LMICs). 

In later stages of development, Vaxdyn also intends to test efficacy and safety for specific needs in LMICs, including its potential to protect the health of newborns by vaccinating pregnant mothers.

Vaxdyn is working with its key partners, the National Center of Microbiology of the Spanish Institute of Health Carlos III and Laboratorios Reig Jofré.

Vaxdyn’s CEO, Juan J. Infante, said in the press statement, “In this project, we are determined to develop a vaccine that will prevent life-threatening infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, providing safe and effective immunity to patients at risk and populations around the world.”

An estimated 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections, and the death toll is expected to rise unless new preventatives and treatments are found. 

Pneumonia can be caused by many types of bacteria, including drug-resistant bacteria. 

Pneumonia is one of the world’s leading causes of death which disproportionately affects the young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.

There were an estimated 880,000 deaths from pneumonia in children under the age of five in 2016. 

Most were less than 2 years of age. Many of these lives could be saved with vaccines, said the company.

In 2019, the World Health Organization included antimicrobial resistance – the ability of bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi to resist medicines – in its top ten global threat listing.

CARB-X is a consortium led by Boston University and funded by a global partnership. Funding for the Vaxdyn project is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Wellcome Trust, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the UK Government’s Global AMR Innovation Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Since its launch in 2016, CARB-X has announced 66 awards exceeding $240 million, with the potential of additional funds if project milestones are met.

Precision Vaccinations publishes vaccine development news.