COPENHAGEN, Denmark, February 4, 2016 – Bavarian Nordic A/S (OMX: BAVA, OTC: BVNRY) announced today 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."
MVA-BN (Modified Vaccinia Ankara - Bavarian Nordic) is a proprietary and patented vaccine platform technology of Bavarian Nordic, originally developed through a successful public-private partnership with the U.S. Government. MVA-BN is a robust and adaptable platform with the potential to address a wide variety of infectious diseases and cancers.
In addition to developing MVA-BN as a safer smallpox vaccine (approved in the EU and Canada) essential to protecting the immune-compromised population, and through a partnership with Janssen as an Ebola vaccine, Bavarian Nordic has conducted more than a dozen preclinical and clinical studies of recombinant MVA-BN-based vaccines. More than 7,600 individuals, nearly 1,000 of whom are immunocompromised, have been vaccinated with MVA-BN-based vaccines, showing the platform displays high immunogenicity and a favorable safety profile.
About Bavarian Nordic
Bavarian Nordic is a fully integrated biotechnology company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies and vaccines for infectious diseases, based on the Company's live virus vaccine platform. Through long-standing collaborations, including a collaboration with the U.S. government, Bavarian Nordic has developed a portfolio of vaccines for infectious diseases, including the non-replicating smallpox vaccine, IMVAMUNE®, which is stockpiled for emergency use by the United States and other governments. The vaccine is approved in the European Union (under the trade name IMVANEX®) and in Canada. Bavarian Nordic and its partner Janssen are developing an Ebola vaccine regimen, which has been fast-tracked, with the backing of worldwide health authorities. Additionally, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, Bavarian Nordic has developed a portfolio of active cancer immunotherapies, including PROSTVAC®, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. The company has partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the potential commercialization of PROSTVAC. For more information visit www.bavarian-nordic.com or follow us on Twitter @bavariannordic.
This announcement includes forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside of our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning our plans, objectives, goals, future events, performance and/or other information that is not historical information, and in particular statements with respect to the goals and prospects of the collaboration between Bavarian Nordic and Evaxion Biotech and the potential development of a vaccine against MRSA. All such forward-looking statements are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements and any other cautionary statements which may accompany the forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances after the date made, except as required by law.