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Vaxess Technologies Awarded NSF and DARPA Funding for Development of mRNA-Based Single-Dose, Refrigeration-Free Vaccine Patch

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January 22, 2021

Vaxess Technologies, Inc., an innovative biotechnology company developing the MIMIX™ smart release patch, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF award number 2030305) and a subcontract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a branch of the US Department of Defense, to advance two separate projects aimed at developing mRNA-based vaccines and other medical countermeasures with the following features:

  • Refrigeration-free, using the patented Silk Protein Matrix stabilization technology
  • Single dose administration, enabled by MIMIX™ sustained release formulation
  • Painless application via MIMIX™ skin patch

Total funding awarded will be up to $2,000,000 if all milestones are achieved, including a $256,000 phase I SBIR grant from the NSF. Vaxess will use the funding to integrate mRNA-based vaccines and gene modulators provided through a collaboration with the Santangelo Lab at Georgia Tech into MIMIX™ patches to improve the efficacy and administration of novel mRNA-based vaccines and other medical countermeasures.

The MIMIX™ platform patch technology provides a solution to challenges related to global vaccine distribution and delivery. The painless patch, which utilizes a patented sustained release technology, is shelf-stable, enables dramatic enhancements in protection, and can be self-applied, allowing greater ease in distribution and administration. Thanks to the Silk Protein Matrix patented technology, the product will not require ultra-cold chain logistics, a critical attribute for timely distribution in times of pandemic outbreaks.

The patch is also compatible with a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, as demonstrated by Vaxess’ work towards a combination seasonal protection patch that includes both a COVID-19 vaccine and a broadly protective seasonal flu vaccine.

“Funding from the NSF and DARPA represent a renewed commitment from the Federal Government to support the development of novel vaccines to combat the current pandemic and future threats,” said Vaxess co-founder Livio Valenti. “Vaxess will continue to be a source of innovation to address some of the most pressing challenges we are facing today and in the years to come.”

Medicine delivery, redefined. The MIMIX patch delivers medicines and vaccines through a number of tiny, painless projections that dissolve at a precisely engineered rate, releasing their treatment at its most effective dose for the most beneficial length of time. Vaxess has validated performance and compatibility with a range of molecules including proteins, killed viruses, mRNA, hormones, and live viruses.

More effective medications start with MIMIX. The MIMIX platform dramatically improves efficacy of products across a broad range of therapeutic areas by “mimicking” the prolonged exposure period that occurs during a natural infection. This prolonged exposure triggers a stronger and more enduring immune response for vaccines and immunotherapies.

Seamlessly painless. The MIMIX patch is virtually painless and after wearing it for few minutes, it is removed from the skin while the medication continues to be delivered.

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