SK bioscience, Vaxxas in pact for needle-free patch delivery of typhoid vaccine

SK bioscience of South Korea entered into a collaboration agreement with Australia’s Vaxxas to develop a second-generation typhoid conjugate vaccine with support from Wellcome, a global charitable foundation supporting discovery research.

SK bioscience’s SKYTyphoid vaccine will be reformulated so that it can be “printed” onto the thousands of tiny micro-projections covering the Vaxxas patch to be delivered directly to the abundant immune cells just under the skin surface.

The reformulation aims to enhance access and broaden markets where traditional intramuscular delivery using needle and syringe has been employed.

Under the agreement, SK bioscience will supply the antigen utilized by its typhoid conjugate vaccine, SKYTyhpoid that was jointly developed by SK bioscience and the International Vaccine Institute.

Vaxxas will be responsible for reformulating the SKYTyphoid antigen so that it can be applied to its proprietary HD-MAPs, and then conduct preclinical studies, which if successful, will be followed by a Phase 1 human clinical trial. The project is expected to be completed within two years from initiation to reporting the data from the Phase 1 clinical trial.

Delivering vaccine directly to immune cells in the skin holds the potential to be more immunogenic than traditional needle and syringe administration, and offers the prospect of reduced dosing. Vaxxas’ applicator facilitates simplified self-administration, accommodating individuals with varying skill levels.

The project is being supported by approximately $3.67 million (U.S.) in grant funding from Wellcome.