- Vaxxas has raised $23 million to advance needle-free vaccine delivery technology that has caught the attention of groups including the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Using its HD-MAP platform, Vaxxas coats thousands of 0.25mm microprojections with a vaccine to create a single-use device for delivering the prophylactic to immune cells below the skin.
- The company has combined the technology with a COVID-19 vaccine candidate to create a new, needle-free way of protecting people against SARS-CoV-2. Vaxxas recently began a phase 1 trial of the vaccine candidate.
Needle-free vaccine technologies can potentially encourage more people to get vaccinated and enable self-administration, thereby simplifying the logistics of vaccination campaigns. One study suggests up to 16% of adults avoid receiving flu shots because of a fear of needles.
OneVentures and UniQuest have signed up to support Vaxxas’ work, jointly leading a $23 million funding round. Members of the Vaxxas board of directors, management team and “a number of individual investors” also contributed.
Vaxxas will use the money to support a phase 1 clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on its technology. If Vaxxas is right, its HD-MAP platform could yield a vaccine that triggers improved immune responses compared to needle and syringe delivery while eliminating the need for cold-chain storage and enabling self-administration.
The potential of the delivery technology has previously enabled Vaxxas to secure more than $67 million in non-dilutive funding from groups including the U.S, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the WHO and the Gates Foundation.