Switzerland’s Cytos Biotechnology and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have announced plans to collaborate on a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine.
The partnership, involving academic and clinical partners across Singapore, aims to commercialise a VLP vaccine to manage influenza infections. This collaboration could potentially secure an independent supply of vaccines for Singapore and other countries to protect against seasonal influenza and future pandemics, and extends Cytos’ R&D pipeline.
Under this agreement, Cytos Biotechnology will work with A*STAR’s Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) and Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) to develop and produce a VLP-based vaccine targeting the hemagglutinin protein of the influenza virus. The vaccine candidate will then be further evaluated in pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies, and a proof-of-concept study to evaluate the safety of the vaccine and its capacity to induce virus-neutralising antibodies.
Cytos will hold the worldwide rights to further develop, manufacture and commercialise the vaccine, while A*STAR subsidiaries will be entitled to produce the vaccine for Singapore.
Martin Bachmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Cytos, said, “Through access to Singapore’s centres of scientific and drug development excellence, we have the opportunity to gain clinical proof-of-concept for one of Cytos’ VLP vaccines in the prophylactic setting. The influenza vaccine collaboration is the first of its kind for Cytos and offers us the chance to, on the one hand, support Singapore and other member states of ASEAN in becoming more self-sufficient with provision of vaccines relevant to their emerging issues in public health, and, on the other hand, contribute a valuable product candidate to extend Cytos’ existing pipeline.”
“We believe that the investment Singapore has made in biomedical research can be translated into a ‘made in Singapore’ influenza vaccine, which could be particularly important in mitigating health risks exacerbated by influenza pandemics,” said Ooi Eng Eong, the project’s lead investigator.