VBI Announces Acquisition of Epixis and its Innovative eVLP Vaccine Platform
Companies Build on Existing Scientific Collaboration; Early Data Support Advance of “eVLP” Program in CMV
Cambridge, Mass., September 15, 2011 – 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.
About VBIVBI Vaccines is a biotechnology company dedicated to the innovative formulation, development and delivery of safe and effective vaccines that expand and enhance vaccine protection in both established and emerging markets. VBI’s innovative approach to vaccine development and growing pipeline of vaccine programs address significant market opportunity and are designed to answer critical unmet medical need. Founded in 2001, VBI - formerly Variation Biotecnologies, Inc. - is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with research facilities in Ottawa, Canada. The company’s investors include Clarus Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and 5AM Ventures. For more information, please visit www.vbivaccines.com.