Vaccines and antibiotics continue to revolutionise our ability to prevent diseases, improve health and save lives. According to WHO (World Health Organisation), vaccines represent one of the most significant strides in medicine.
With technological advancements, researchers are trying to bridge the gap between breakthrough discoveries/revolutionary vaccines and to provide better protection from life-threatening infectious diseases.
The chemical approach is based on the core technology of Gigabases, which has provided synthetically produced DNA.
Recently, the biotech startup has raised CHF 7.2M (approx €6.6M) funding in a Series A round to fund the pre-clinical development of its Covid-19 vaccine.
In terms of the fund break up, RocketVax AG received:
- CHF 1.2M (approx €1.1M) from a research grant from InnoSuiss
- CHF 1M (approx €927K) from the Canton of Basel-Stadt
- CHF 1M (approx €927K) from the University Hospital Basel
- CHF 4M (approx €3.7M) from private investors, where CHF 2M (approx €1.8M) received in the form of convertible loans.
The funds will be used to prepare clinical trials of RocketVax’s Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr Vladimir Cmiljanovic, Vice-Chairman of RocketVax, explains, “The funds will be used to pay for pre-clinical proof of concept in animal models in collaboration with Prof. Christian Münz from the University of Zurich and Prof. Thomas Klimkait from the University of Basel, a pre-clinical toxicology study in animal models in collaboration with international research companies specialised for these studies, and GMP scale-up production for phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials in humans.”
The Swiss biotech startup is now launching Seed B financing to raise an additional CHF 5-10M to fund the phase 1 clinical development in Switzerland, which is expected to start in the second quarter of 2022.
RocketVax’s Covid-19 vaccine
RocketVax is developing a promising second-generation COVID-19 vaccine called RVX-13. Besides COVID-19 derived antigen, the vaccine also has all major immunogenic features of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This unique technology aims at delivering a more efficacious vaccine and protects against all known variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, says the company.
The vaccine increases immune system protection while generating not only the spike-antibodies but also a broad spectrum of other antibodies and T-cells.
RocketVax says it offers extended protection against wild-type viruses and protects against all virus variants (mutations).
Further, the vaccine’s ambient temperature stability will also allow it vaccinate and protect people in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia while at the same time minimising the risk of new virus variants forming.
Subsidiary of Swiss Rockets AG
Founded in 2020, RocketVax AG is a subsidiary of Swiss Rockets AG, a Swiss incubator and accelerator for Swiss startups.
The company is based on the relationship between Swiss Rockets AG, Gigabases Switzerland AG, a spin-off of ETH Zurich, and a team of expert scientists from the University of Basel, the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, the University Hospital Basel, and the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health in Basel
Partnership to develop novel vaccine
Back in June, Basel University Hospital, the University of Basel, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute agreed to collaborate with the company RocketVax and jointly advance research to develop a novel vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.