Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited (‘Emergex’, or the ‘Company’), a clinical-stage biotechnology company addressing major global infectious diseases through the development of fully synthetic CD8+ T cell Adaptive Vaccines, today announced that it has signed heads of terms for a collaboration with the Molecular Biology Institute of Paraná (IBMP) in Brazil.
IBMP is a commercial organisation with close links to Fiocruz, the most important national institution for research and production of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines linked to the Ministry of Health in Brazil. It has a strong commercial track record in the healthcare space with expertise in the development, manufacturing, regulatory approval and commercialisation of medical diagnostics and medicines in Brazil.
The agreement, once fully executed, will involve a shared clinical development phase as well as allowing IBMP exclusive rights for the commercialisation of the vaccine candidates in Brazil. In addition, clinical stage manufacturing of the vaccines will be conducted by Emergex with a transition to commercial scale manufacturing being conducted in the region by IBMP. A Joint Steering Committee with representatives from both Emergex and IBMP will oversee the collaboration and commercialisation of the vaccines in Brazil.
The agreement initially focuses on Emergex’s Dengue vaccine candidate and also includes the shared development and commercialisation of COVID-19 and Chikungunya vaccine candidates. Emergex’s Dengue and COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently in Phase I clinical trials in Switzerland with top line results for Dengue expected imminently and top line results for COVID-19 expected later this year.
The collaboration also involves Emergex and IBMP conducting pre-clinical testing and clinical development of Chikungunya vaccine candidate. The Chikungunya vaccine candidate is being developed with support from a UK Aid grant, (Official Development Assistance). This was awarded to Emergex following a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) UK Vaccine Network (UKVN), delivered through Innovate UK, to develop vaccines for diseases with epidemic potential in low- and middle-income countries. Further development of the Chikungunya vaccine candidate in Brazil would be jointly conducted by Emergex and IBMP with costs shared equally between both parties and with IBMP having the option for exclusive commercial rights for the Chikungunya vaccine in Brazil.
Emergex’s previous collaboration with a related Brazilian institution resulted in an excellent working relationship and the generation of valuable pre-clinical data for Emergex’s CD8+ T cell adaptive COVID-19 vaccine, currently in completion for a Phase I clinical trial in Switzerland. This previous collaboration was also an important building block, in building trust and strengthening our relationships in Brazil, and was pivotal in us achieving this agreement with the IBMP.
Robin Cohen, Chief Commercial Officer at Emergex, commented: “This is an important step as we look ahead and plan for the development of our lead vaccine candidates. Dengue is a serious endemic disease in Brazil and we are delighted to be bringing forward our vaccine technology that has the potential to better protect the health for millions of people in the region. Partnering with IBMP makes strategic sense for Emergex as it has the local contacts and expertise to successfully develop and commercialize our vaccines in Brazil. We look forward to completing the formal agreement in due course.”