Actelion and the Max Planck Society create Vaxxilon

The new company aims to discover, develop and commercialise synthetic carbohydrate vaccines

Actelion, together with the Max Planck Society, has announced the creation of a start-up in the field of synthetic carbohydrate vaccines. The new company, Vaxxilon, aims to discover, develop and commercialise synthetic carbohydrate vaccines.

Vaxxilon has licensed exclusive rights to multiple preclinical vaccine candidates and additional technologies from Max-Planck Innovation, the technology transfer office of the Max Planck Society. Actelion is the principal investor and majority shareholder, having made a funding commitment of up to €30m, to be released in tranches during a period of 3–4 years.

Jean-Paul Clozel, MD and Chief Executive Officer of Actelion, commented: ‘Actelion has had success in advancing the science of the endothelium and translating it into therapeutic options for the PAH community. Our long-term success depends on building additional speciality areas. We have been impressed by the work done by Professor Seeberger’s team and I am very happy that Actelion can help to translate this work into prophylactic and therapeutic options.’

The first preclinical candidates were discovered and synthesised by Prof. Seeberger, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, and his team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany. Vaxxilon plans to advance its first vaccine candidate into humans in three years.

Jean-Paul Clozel concluded: ‘Synthetic carbohydrate vaccines represent an exciting opportunity and have great potential. By creating Vaxxilon with the Max Planck Society we are building a platform from which synthetic carbohydrate vaccines could become a commercial reality within the next decade. This investment represents an innovative way to find synergies between the academic and industrial worlds.’

Prof. Seeberger, commented: ‘I am very proud that our groundbreaking research and technology will be advanced in the form of Vaxxilon. I believe that the speed and flexibility of a small company, combined with Actelion's financial backing, will allow this novel vaccine technology to progress and eventually be made available to society. This new class of vaccines promises to be more efficient, faster and more reproducible to create and manufacture, and has advantages of distribution and administration that may improve access to vaccines around the world.’

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