Sweden-based NorthX Biologics (“NorthX”), which focuses on process development and large-scale production of advanced biological drugs, has signed a collaboration agreement with Abera Bioscience (“Abera”) for upscaling and GMP manufacturing of its vaccine candidate against pneumococcus, Ab-01.12.
NorthX has recently established an innovation hub to offer support to partners in achieving their long-term drug development goals. The company’s ability to handle new ways of working and experience with unique development demands was crucial in Abera’s decision-making.
Abera Bioscience is a biotechnology company that develops vaccine candidates based on its proprietary vaccine platforms. The company’s main candidate, Ab-01.12, is a universal vaccine against pneumococcus given as a nasal spray. The company is preparing the vaccine candidate for clinical trials in humans.
Eva-karin Gidlund, Head of Alliance and Innovation at NorthX Biologics, said: “We at NorthX are proud of our collaboration with Abera. Abera is exactly the kind of player we have strived to work with in our innovation hub – innovation-driven vaccine companies with a high level of research and knowledge of their own process, while they already have several exciting projects in the pipeline.
“Abera shines with ambition and has clear goals we would like to help them achieve. Abera’s vaccine platform with its plug’n’play technology is exciting and creates opportunities for several new vaccine projects in the future.
“At NorthX Biologics, we pride ourselves on working with early stage companies and offer a partnership that is flexible, cost effective and driven by knowledge and experience. We grow with our customers, so we can’t wait to see where this journey with Abera takes us both.”
Maria Alriksson, CEO of Abera Bioscience, said: “After evaluating a number of players, it seemed natural to choose NorthX Biologics. They have more than 30 years of experience in GMP and manufacturing and they best met the requirements for knowledge, flexibility and ability to deliver that Abera sought.
“Together with NorthX, we have prepared a plan for accelerated development of Ab-01.12 where we expect to be able to initiate toxicological studies during Q4 2022 and hope to be able to submit our dossier and application to begin clinical studies Phase 1 for Ab-01.12 during the first half of the year 2023. NorthX’s innovation hub for vaccine development is an exciting initiative where we as a vaccine platform company already see several opportunities for different collaborations.”
NorthX Biologics is based in Matfors, Sweden, offering process development and large-scale production of advanced biological drugs. Its facility in Matfors has been operational for a number of decades, offering early stage companies such as Abera the opportunity to partner with an experienced and flexible biologics manufacturer.
Ab-01.12 is a vaccine candidate against pneumococcus that is designed using an innovative technology to protect against all variants of the bacterium. Pneumococcus is a bacterium that in mild form causes ear infection and sinusitis but which also causes severe pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis.
Pneumococci mainly affect children and the elderly and cause 1.5–2 million deaths per year, making this bacterial infection one of the most common causes of death for children under five worldwide. There are almost a hundred variants of the bacterium where today’s vaccines only protect against about twenty of these.