EpiVax Joins Intravacc, CEPI on Project to Develop Universal Betacoronavirus Vaccine

PROVIDENCE, RI, October 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — EpiVax, Inc. (“EpiVax”) is pleased to announce participation in a new project with Intravacc, funded by CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), to develop universal vaccines for betacoronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. EpiVax will be carrying out the vaccine epitope selection portion of the collaboration, using their comprehensive in silico vaccine design toolkit “iVAX.

This program is funded under CEPI’s 2021 call for proposals to accelerate the development of broadly protective coronavirus vaccines, which will provide up to US$200 million for such projects. Intravacc was awarded $4.8 million to advance their subunit vaccine candidate “Avacc 101”, which is designed for intranasal delivery to provide protective immunity for multiple betacoronaviruses including SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV. Avacc 101 uses Intravacc’s Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) technology to deliver vaccine payloads for an effective immune response.

As a subgrantee on the project, EpiVax will identify cross-reactive beta-coronavirus T cell epitopes for broad coverage of COVID-19, MERS and SARS Class 1 and Class 2 HLA-restricted epitopes, using the iVAX in silico vaccine design toolkit. In addition to vaccine epitope selection, EpiVax will also develop multiple designs, and will validate these in silico constructs in vivo with HLA-transgenic mice.

According to EpiVax CEO/CSO Dr. Annie De Groot, “We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to apply our advanced vaccine design tools to a problem of global significance.”.

About EpiVax:
EpiVax is a biotechnology company with expertise in T cell epitope prediction, immune modulation, and rapid vaccine design. EpiVax’s immunogenicity screening toolkits for therapeutics and vaccines, ISPRI and iVAX, are employed in advancing the research of a global roster of companies. For more information, visit www.epivax.com.

About Intravacc:
Intravacc is a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) of innovative vaccines against infectious diseases. Intravacc has transferred its technology related to polio vaccines, measles vaccines, DPT vaccines, Hib vaccines and influenza vaccines around the world. Intravacc offers a wide range of expertise to develop vaccine from concept to Phase I/II clinical studies for academic, industry and philanthropic partners. For more information, visit www.intravacc.nl.

About CEPI: 
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Prior to COVID-19, CEPI’s work focused on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus – it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

During the current pandemic, CEPI initiated multiple programmes to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access. These programmes leverage the rapid response platforms developed by CEPI’s partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19 as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation to these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.

CEPI’s 5-year plan lays out a $3.5 billion roadmap to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, develop a universal vaccine against COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses, and create a “library” of vaccine candidates for use against known and unknown pathogens. The plan is available at endpandemics.cepi.net.

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Press Contact:
Katie Porter, Associate Director, Business Development & Marketing
Source: EpiVax, Inc.