VitriVax Announces Series A Financing to Further Demonstrate Feasibility of its Thermostable, Single-Dose Vaccine Technology, Aiming to Make Life-Saving Biologics Widely Accessible to Underserved Populations Globally
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 07/08/2021
VitriVax, developer of a novel stabilization and delivery platform for vaccines and therapeutics, today announced it has closed its first institutional financing round with Adjuvant Capital. Series A proceeds will be used to develop and commercialize a technology with the potential to eliminate barriers to global vaccine administration, extending their life-saving benefits to underserved populations and compressing multidose regimens into a single shot.
VitraVax’s Atomic Layering Thermostable Antigen and Adjuvant (ALTA™) technology platform is designed to enable the development of vaccines that can be transported and stored without complex refrigeration and temperature monitoring requirements. The platform also aims to enable full immunization with a single vaccination via timed release of antigen/adjuvant complexes weeks or months after injection.
VitriVax was formed to advance this groundbreaking technology after the concept was originally developed through a unique collaboration between Dr. Robert Garcea and Dr. Theodore Randolph at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They approached the challenges of vaccine delivery from their backgrounds in two different academic disciplines. By combining expertise in virology with chemical and biological engineering principles, Dr. Garcea and Dr. Randolph enabled radical improvements to vaccine thermostability and dosing.
The result of their work is the ALTA™ platform, which reformulates vaccines for extended shelf life, allowing them to be easily transported anywhere in the world, or stockpiled, with enormous potential benefit to both routine immunization campaigns and emergency scenarios. VitraVax uses a spray drying process to embed antigens and adjuvants in a sugar-glass matrix, protecting them against thermal and chemical degradation at temperatures as high as 70° Celsius (158° Fahrenheit) for months, as demonstrated in multiple mouse studies using HPV capsomeres as a model antigen, as well as in multiple studies with commercial partners. This approach eliminates the need for cold storage and complex distribution logistics, and reduces waste associated with vaccines that have limited shelf lives.
ALTA™ also leverages atomic layer deposition (ALD) to apply nanometer-thick, precision coatings of protective metal oxides on the surface of antigen- and adjuvant-containing spray-dried microparticles. This approach provides timed release of doses up to six months after injection, also demonstrated in the same studies. If successfully translated into humans, this approach would enable the incorporation of a primary dose and booster doses in a single shot, and could potentially facilitate co-administration of multiple vaccines at the same time.
“Reducing temperature requirements and collapsing multidose regimens into a single touch point with the healthcare system has long been a vaccine-delivery goal within the public health community. We believe the ALTA™ platform has the potential to solve these problems at scale, and we are excited to work with VitriVax to address these critical global health challenges,” said Charlie Petty, co-founder and principal at Adjuvant Capital. “As an infectious disease-focused investment firm that works with its partners to develop important public health vaccines and therapeutics, Adjuvant Capital has canvassed the globe for vaccine platforms like ALTA™. We are thrilled to have met the VitraVax team at such an important moment in the development of this technology.”
VitriVax has established a number of partnerships with clinical- and commercial-stage pharmaceutical partners across a wide range of disease areas and modalities in human and animal health. Prior to the funding from Adjuvant Capital, the research leading to the ALTA™ platform had been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the State of Colorado and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Concurrent with the financing, Adjuvant Capital’s Charlie Petty and Glenn Rockman have joined VitriVax’s board of directors.
“We could not be happier to partner with Adjuvant Capital as our lead investor to help us maximize the impact of VitriVax and our game-changing ALTA™ formulation platform,” said VitriVax CEO Matt Raider. “Building on the early development of our technology at CU Boulder, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are excited to work alongside Adjuvant and its partners to further advance the platform and enable new and improved vaccines and therapeutics for high-value public health challenges.”
Learn more in the press release.