Help wanted: Vaxxinity seeks a partner to press ahead with Alzheimer's treatment

Fresh off the fast-track designation of its Alzheimer’s disease treatment, Vaxxinity says it will need to secure a partner to take the phase 2-stage neurodegenerative candidate forward. 

The company made the update Monday as part of its fourth-quarter earnings report, saying development of UB-311 is expected to continue as long as a strategic partner can be found. The therapeutic vaccine targets toxic levels of amyloid beta protein in the brain, building on existing treatments that look to dwindle amyloid buildup.

The update is a tacit acknowledgment that the company could use a financial leg up as it pursues late-stage trials for UB-311. The company had $87.9 million in “highly liquid assets” as of the end of December, including $33.5 million in cash and equivalents. It's a significant drop on the $145 million in highly liquid assets the company entered 2022 with.

The news comes as Vaxxinity is potentially on the precipice of its first approval, looking to reach the market with its COVID booster shot. The company presented phase 3 data in December 2022 and has asked officials in the U.K. and Australia for a thumbs-up. But neurodegeneration has been a focus area, specifically tackling Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. 

Similar to the Alzheimer’s asset, UB-312 targets bunches of alpha-synuclein, a protein involved in synaptic transmission and neurotransmitter release. The company reported that the med was found to be safe and immunogenic in a phase 1 trial with both healthy participants and patients with Parkinson’s disease. Part B of the trial, which dosed patients with Parkinson’s, is expected to be completed by the middle of 2023. Vaxxinity is also targeting UB-312 at patients with dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy.

Beyond neurodegeneration, Vaxxinity is advancing a CGRP-targeting migraine therapy, UB-313, and an anti-PCSK9 med to treat hypercholesterolemia, VXX-401. The company expects a readout of a phase 1 trial testing the migraine med in the first half of the year while dosing of VXX-401 began earlier in March.