Biotech firm Mucosis B.V. announced that it has received up to €5 million in innovation credit line from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The funds will be used for the further development of Mucosis’ proprietary SynGEM prefusion F RSV vaccine candidate through human proof-of-concept studies, which will investigate safety and efficacy when treating Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in healthy volunteers.
SynGEM is the company’s lead vaccine candidate currently undergoing preclinical studies. The vaccine is intended to prevent infections with respiratory syncytial virus, which affects more than 60 million people around the world. The disease is responsible for more than a million hospitalizations and 160,000 deaths per year. SynGEM utilizes the epitopes considered to be the most critical for optimal virus neutralization.
Thomas Johnston, CEO of Mucosis, said that the company appreciates the Dutch government’s backing in the disease area Mucosis is focusing on. “Combined with our recently announced strategic partnership with BCHT of China and new investment round, we have now raised over €10 million in the first half of 2014. Advancing the SynGEM program to human clinical trials through these funds will create a substantial company value inflection point in the near term. Additionally, we see this significant funding as a further validation of our clinical-stage Mimopath platform and its potential to combat the most challenging of infectious diseases.”
The company’s Mimopath technology is used to develop bacterium-like particles (BLP) which can be covered with antigens from parasitic, viral, bacterial, or human tumor origin. BLP-based vaccines are unique in its suitability for administration into the mouth or nose, without the need for a needle. Such mucosal vaccines have been observed to raise protective immunity in patients through activation of both the innate and adaptive immune system.
Aside from SynGEM, the company is also developing PneuGEM for diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria and FluGEM for the prevention of influenza.