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Bavarian Nordic enters research partnership to develop MRSA vaccine

Bavarian Nordic has collaborated with Evaxion Biotech and Technical University of Denmark (DTU) to develop Modified Vaccinia Ankara - Bavarian Nordic (MVA-BN) based vaccine against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

MRSA is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It poses challenge in the healthcare sector due to high infection risk during treatment and surgery of patients, in particular those with weak immune systems.

The partnership intends to develop a recombinant MVA-BN-based vaccine candidate using Evaxion’s computer-based technology to discover novel antigens.

The vaccine is being developed based on the efficacy results demonstrated by Evaxion in preclinical models.

The human trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine will be conducted in 2019, following additional preclinical studies by DTU.

Bavarian Nordic CEO Paul Chaplin said: "We are pleased to join this collaboration and take part in the efforts to develop an effective vaccine that may eventually help improve public health and reduce mortality.

"In addition, this collaboration provides an opportunity to investigate MVA-BN in new indications, which yet again broadens the scope of our vaccine platform technology."

The project is being backed by $2.5m in funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark which in part will fund Bavarian Nordic’s production of MVA-BN-based MRSA vaccine candidates.

Developed through a public-private partnership between Bavarian Nordic and the US government, MVA-BN is a vaccine platform technology to address a wide variety of infectious diseases and cancers.

The company said that more than 7,600 individuals, nearly 1,000 of whom are immunocompromised, have been vaccinated with MVA-BN-based vaccines, showing the platform displays high immunogenicity and a favorable safety profile.