Vaxess Technologies has joined forces with Medigen Vaccine Biologics (MVC) to develop a combined Covid-19 and influenza vaccine patch.

The biotechnology firm is engaged in developing MIMIX sustained dermal delivery patch platform, and MVC develops vaccines and biosimilars by leveraging cell-based technologies.

Under the collaboration, Vaxess and MVC will jointly develop a combined Covid-19 and quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine (QIV), which will be delivered through the advanced MIMIX patch system.

The MIMIX patch is designed to deliver medicines and vaccines through numerous minute, painless projections that dissolve at a precisely engineered rate, and releases the medication at most optimised effective dose and time.

The patch is capable of enhancing the effectiveness of the vaccine by leveraging sustained release technology to stimulate superior immune responses against infections.

The performance and compatibility of the patch has been validated by the company across different molecules.

The combination of Covid-19 vaccine with influenza vaccine into a single dermal patch would facilitate a seasonal protection in a single-dose shelf-stable vaccine, said the company.

Vaxess CEO Michael Schrader said: “As Covid becomes endemic, the world will need a regular seasonal vaccination.

“Combining Medigen’s impressive Covid vaccine with a broadly protective influenza vaccine in a shelf-stable, easy-to-apply patch will dramatically improve global access and, ultimately, protection against both lethal diseases.”

Vaxess will conduct a clinical trial of its MIMIX patch platform technology in the US

The vaccine leverages a stabilised form of the spike protein (S-2P) from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The modified spike sequence offers a stabilised version of the spike protein than wild-type sequences, and has shown a strong immunogenicity profile in preclinical trials, said the company.

The viral immunogen for their new vaccine was co-developed by researchers at the Vaccine Research Centre of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and at the University of Texas at Austin.

MVC intends to conduct Phase 1 clinical trials of an adjuvanted intramuscular injection of the vaccine, in September 2020. Simultaneously, Vaxess is planning to begin a US clinical trial of its MIMIX platform technology.

Medigen chief executive officer Charles Chen said: “We are excited to partner with Vaxess in the development of a potential broad spectrum vaccine and novel delivery system to help fight Covid-19 and seasonal influenza.

“At MVC, we like to collaborate with companies that may bring innovative platforms forward that have the potential to improve vaccination practices.”