Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Aeterna Zentaris options potential oral COVID-19 vaccine from German university

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: February 10th, 2021

Biopharma company Aeterna Zentaris has entered into an exclusive option agreement with Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU) to advance a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Developed by JMU researchers, the vaccine uses typhoid fever as a carrier strain and has the potential to be an orally active, live-attenuated bacterial vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

Under the option agreement, Aeterna has the right to negotiate an exclusive worldwide license to further develop the technology. The company states that, if there is sufficient data to advance the vaccine into human clinical trials, the development period could be abbreviated, as there is already extensive clinical safety data on the underlying carrier strain.

“While vaccines for COVID-19 have been developed, we believe there is opportunity for improvement,” says Klaus Paulini, CEO of Aeterna. “That includes the potential to develop a more cost-effective oral alternative with less onerous storage requirements than the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines. We are optimistic that results from further studies of this new vaccination approach may offer a much needed, safe and effective immunization alternative against COVID-19.”

“Our new vaccine technology … opens the opportunity for a new oral vaccination strategy which may have the potential to prevent people from infection with SARS-CoV-2,” says JMU professor Thomas Rudel. “We believe that a positive decision by Aeterna Zentaris to license this technology will start a fruitful collaboration with Aeterna, with the aim to begin the clinical development as soon as possible.”

Source: BioSpace

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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