LimmaTech Biologics and AbVacc have entered into a licensing agreement, under which the former will get exclusive rights for the continued development of the latter's multivalent toxoid vaccine candidate, LBT-SA7 (previously known as IBT-V02).
This vaccine is designed for preventing infections caused by the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
S. aureus, a Gram-positive bacterium, affects about 30% of people, causing a range of infections, including skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) and more serious conditions like pneumonia and bloodstream infections.
LimmaTech intends to commence Phase I clinical trials for the vaccine candidate in 2024, with the option to secure complete worldwide rights post the trial’s outcome.
The company has an exclusive option to acquire full programme rights, which can be exercised after the Phase I read-out.
LBT-SA7, designed by AbVacc, is a six-valent toxoid vaccine candidate aimed at preventing recurrent SSTI caused by S. aureus.
The vaccine has weakened forms of toxins, known as toxoids, which are normally secreted by the pathogen to induce an infection.
The unique formulation of LBT-SA7 helps the body combat infection by triggering an immune response against the original toxins of S. aureus.
Preclinical trials conducted in rabbits and mice showed potent neutralising activity against several clinically relevant forms of S. aureus infection.
Furthermore, the vaccine candidate demonstrated efficacy in non-naïve mice pre-exposed to the pathogen.
LimmaTech CEO Dr Franz-Werner Haas said: “S. aureus-related infections remain an urgent global medical priority, for which there is no vaccine currently available.
“Based on the original scientific work and the promising preclinical data generated by AbVacc, we aim to rapidly start clinical development and deliver an effective intervention for patients with a broad range of S. aureus infections.”
LBT-SA7 received partial funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health, as well as CARB-X.