The escalating threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has prompted significant initiatives in the biopharmaceutical sector, with the REPAIR Impact Fund, established by Novo Holdings, at the forefront. This €135 million ($165 million) initiative targets the dire need for novel therapies in combating AMR by investing in start-ups, early-stage companies, and corporate spin-outs. These investments are crucial in the realm of discovering and developing early-stage treatments against resistant microbial strains.
ABVacc, a beneficiary of the REPAIR Impact Fund, is channeling its investment into developing new treatments, particularly vaccines like IBT-V02, aimed at combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. This funding underscores the critical nature of addressing the growing threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The support from the REPAIR Impact Fund extends beyond financial backing. It includes strategic guidance and networking opportunities with other investors, accelerating the progression of novel antibiotics from early development stages to clinical trials. Such support is indispensable in the current landscape where antibiotic-resistant bacteria are an increasing global threat.
LimmaTech Biologics AG, based in Schlieren, Zurich, Switzerland, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company established in 2015 as a spin-off from GlycoVaxyn. The company’s mission is to develop and manufacture next-generation vaccines targeting life-threatening diseases, particularly those showing emerging antimicrobial resistance. LimmaTech is presently conducting two Phase I/II clinical trials in partnership with GSK, highlighting its commitment to addressing AMR.
Staphylococcus aureus, a major human pathogen known for its high antibiotic resistance, underscores the urgent need for new interventions, including vaccines. Despite previous setbacks in vaccine development against S. aureus, ongoing research and clinical studies offer new insights and potential breakthroughs. For instance, recent studies have explored the use of the SpyCatcher-SpyTag system to engineer bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) for a multitargeting S. aureus click vaccine. This novel approach aims to induce a more potent immune response compared to traditional antigen-adjuvant mixtures, showing promise in mouse models.
IBT-V02, developed by IBT Vaccines (a subsidiary of Integrated Biotherapeutics Inc.), represents a significant advancement in this field. Targeting Staphylococcus aureus, the vaccine is in late pre-clinical development and consists of five components representing toxoids for various SA toxins. These toxoids demonstrate cross-reactivity, providing a protective response against a broader range of SA toxins. The vaccine’s efficacy has been validated in animal models, showing its potential in combating skin infections and providing lasting immunity against recurrent infections.
The development of IBT-V02 has garnered substantial financial support, including a $3.9 million investment from Novo Holding’s REPAIR Impact Fund, as part of a larger $48 million investment across eight companies. Additionally, in August 2019, IBT Vaccines received a $1.6 million grant from CARB-X to further evaluate the vaccine’s efficacy.
ABVacc and the Development of the Staphylococcus aureus Vaccine (IBT-V02): ABVacc, supported by the REPAIR Impact Fund, is instrumental in developing vaccines targeting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with a significant focus on Staphylococcus aureus. The funding from the REPAIR Impact Fund has been pivotal in advancing their research and development, particularly in the vaccine, IBT-V02. This vaccine, developed by IBT Vaccines, a subsidiary of Integrated Biotherapeutics Inc., specifically targets various toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus, including alpha hemolysin (Hla), Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), and others. The vaccine has shown promise in pre-clinical trials, demonstrating the potential to provide immunity against a range of SA strains and reduce recurrent infections.
LimmaTech Biologics AG’s Role in AMR: LimmaTech Biologics AG, while not directly involved in the development of IBT-V02, plays a crucial role in the broader context of AMR. As a biopharmaceutical company, LimmaTech focuses on developing next-generation vaccines for diseases with emerging antimicrobial resistance. Their work, particularly in conducting clinical trials and developing new vaccine technologies, complements the efforts of companies like ABVacc. LimmaTech’s expertise in vaccine development and their focus on AMR makes them a key player in the overall fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The Synergy in Combating AMR: The connection between LimmaTech Biologics, ABVacc, and the development of the IBT-V02 vaccine lies in the shared goal of combating AMR. While each entity operates in different capacities and stages of vaccine development, their collective efforts contribute to a larger strategy against resistant bacterial strains. The REPAIR Impact Fund’s investment in these entities demonstrates a commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration in the field of AMR.
Collaborative Efforts and Future Outlook: The collaboration and investment in these companies highlight the importance of a multifaceted approach in addressing AMR. By supporting a range of companies and projects, from early-stage vaccine development to clinical trials, the REPAIR Impact Fund is helping to build a comprehensive response to one of the most pressing health challenges of our time. The success of vaccines like IBT-V02 would mark a significant milestone in this endeavor, potentially providing new means to prevent and treat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus.