Batavia collaborates with Swiss start-up to deliver COVID-19 vaccine

Batavia Biosciences will use its HIP-Vax manufacturing technology to develop and deliver 1000 doses of RocketVax’s second generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate.  

The deal, of which financial details have not been disclosed, sees Batavia develop the clinical process to deliver RocketVax’s (a subsidiary of Swiss Rockets AG) COVID-19 vaccine candidate RVX-13.

RVX-13 does not use a single COVID-19 derived antigen but instead compromises all major immunogenic features of the COVID-19 virus. In turn, this aims to increase vaccine efficacy and protect individuals against all known variants of SARS-CoV-2.

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“Now that the delta variant is on the rise, second generation vaccines are increasingly important,” Claire Otjes, a spokeswoman for Batavia told BioProcess Insider.

“They should be able to provide broader protection and be more affordable. Now that more and more people are vaccinated, the evolutionary pressure on the virus is increasing and new mutations are just around the corner. We can expect more variants which are more infectious or resistant to the current vaccines.”

To ensure rapid and cost-effective manufacturing, Batavia will use its HIP-Vax production technology to deliver a scalable process for RVX-13.

“Under the HIP-Vax brand, we market our process development services and know-how which enables fast and low-cost vaccine manufacturing using bioprocess intensification technologies. One example of such a technology is the innovative fixed-bed bioreactor, scale-X,” Otjes told us.

Batavia will predominately execute the project at its facility located in Leiden, the Netherlands. However, Otjes said “both our facilities, in the US and in Europe are very experienced with the HIP-Vax technology, which uses innovative fixed-bed bioreactors.”

Otjes confirmed Batavia will not be increasing staff and equipment to service the deal, but the firm has “the ambition to scale up in the future, to be able to support commercial manufacturing.”

She added: “Our experienced and highly educated staff are able to take on any challenge regarding the bioprocessing of viral vectors. Therefore, we can execute the project with our current staff and equipment.”

RocketVax anticipates starting Phase I clinical trials in the second quarter of 2022.

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