VBI Vaccines (“VBI”), a biotechnology company dedicated to the innovative formulation, development and delivery of safe and effective vaccines, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Epixis S.A., a French biotechnology company developing its “eVLP” platform technology for a new generation of Virus-Like Particle (VLP) vaccines. The acquisition is complementary to VBI’s suite of thermostable vaccine formulation technologies and enables VBI to develop its own VLP-based vaccines.
“This acquisition enables VBI to strategically build upon our pipeline of innovative vaccine delivery technologies and advance the development of an extremely promising VLP platform,” said Jeff Baxter, president and chief executive officer of VBI.
VBI and Epixis forged a VLP research collaboration focused on cytomegalovirus (CMV) in June 2010. That successful program made significant research advances in the past year that led to this acquisition and will now be VBI’s priority VLP vaccine candidate.
“There is an undeniable need for a safe and effective CMV vaccine,” said Baxter. “This intersection of scientific innovation and global patient demand is invigorating for all of us and we look forward to continuing our work with Epixis, now as a seamless part of the VBI team.”
Prior to initiating work on CMV, Epixis demonstrated successful proof of concept for its eVLP platform with a vaccine targeting Hepatitis C virus. These preclinical results were recently published in Science Translational Medicine. Given these promising findings, VBI is also developing its strategy to advance a Hepatitis C vaccine candidate.
“Our proof of concept and preclinical findings have been extremely promising in both CMV and Hepatitis C and we believe clearly demonstrate the value of the eVLP platform,” said Charlotte Dalba, Ph.D., M.B.A., former chief executive officer of Epixis and now a Senior Consultant with VBI.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
VBI Vaccines Inc. (“VBI”) is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel technologies that seek to expand vaccine protection in large underserved markets. VBI’s eVLP vaccine platform allows for the design of enveloped (“e”) virus-like particle (“VLP”) vaccines that closely mimic the target virus. VBI’s lead eVLP asset is a prophylactic Cytomegalovirus (“CMV”) vaccine; VBI has initiated work for GMP manufacturing of its CMV candidate for use in formal preclinical and Phase I trials. VBI’s LPV platform is a thermostable technology that enables the development of vaccines and biologics that can withstand storage or shipment at constantly fluctuating temperatures. VBI has completed proof of concept thermostability studies on a number of vaccine and biologic targets. VBI is headquartered in Cambridge, MA with research facilities in Ottawa, Canada.
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