LimmaTech Biologics Expands Vaccine Pipeline by Licensing AbVacc’s Innovative Vaccine Candidate Against Staphylococcus aureus

SCHLIEREN, Switzerland & ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LimmaTech Biologics and AbVacc announced today a license agreement that grants LimmaTech the exclusive rights to further develop AbVacc’s multivalent toxoid vaccine candidate, LBT-SA7 (formerly IBT-V02), designed to prevent infections caused by the bacterial pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). LimmaTech also receives an exclusive option, executable post Phase 1 read-out, to acquire full rights to the program. No further details of the transaction have been disclosed.

LBT-SA7 is a six valent toxoid vaccine candidate, designed and developed to date by AbVacc for the prevention of recurrent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) caused by S. aureus. The vaccine candidate contains weakened forms of toxins, referred to as toxoids, that would normally be secreted by the pathogen to cause an infection. The unique formulation of LBT-SA7 enables the body to fight against the infection by eliciting an immune response against the original S. aureus toxins. Preclinical studies in mice and rabbits demonstrated strong neutralizing activity against several clinically relevant forms of S. aureus infection. The vaccine candidate also showed efficacy in non-naïve mice pre-exposed to the pathogen.

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,” said Dr. Franz-Werner Haas, Chief Executive Officer of LimmaTech. “Building on our extensive vaccine development expertise, including against S. aureus, adding this program to our pipeline is a key milestone in our strategy to pursue innovative approaches to prevent increasingly untreatable microbial infections and positively impact the dangerous rise of antimicrobial resistance.”

Javad Aman, PhD, President & Chief Scientific Officer of AbVacc stated, “This product candidate has the potential to solve the pressing medical need for SSTIs, by effectively preventing its recurrence. We highly value the LimmaTech team’s depth of experience and extensive know-how that will contribute to achieving successful clinical development moving forward.”

Michael Kowarik, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of LimmaTech added, “We are convinced that this S. aureus toxoid vaccine candidate has the potential to solve the challenges posed by targeting S. aureus surface antigens by addressing a new mechanism of action that has not been explored before.”

AbVacc has been part of the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund’s portfolio since 2019. Financial support from REPAIR, combined with grants from Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) and the National Institutes of Health, has bolstered the preclinical development of the IBT-V02 vaccine program. This has led to Phase 1 trial readiness, advancing a potential new tool in the fight against antimicrobial infections towards clinical trials.

Development of the LBT-SA7 (formerly IBT-V02) vaccine candidate has been funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R43AI085665 and R01AI111205 and CARB-X. CARB-X’s funding for this project is provided in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority; under agreement number: 75A50122C00028, and by awards from Wellcome (WT224842), Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and the UK Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) funded by the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CARB-X or any of its funders.