Healthcare Industry News: Merck
News Release - October 9, 2012
Vaxxas Appoints David Hoey as Company’s First CEOCompany to Enable Next-Generation Vaccines using Nanopatch™ Platform
Company to Establish Operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Vaxxas, a biotechnology company commercializing a novel vaccine-delivery platform that activates immunological cells immediately below the surface of the skin, announced today that David Hoey has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer. He has also been appointed to the company's Board of Directors. Mr. Hoey has more than 20 years of executive-level experience in North America, spanning business development, licensing, strategic planning and financing for technology companies, including his most recent position as Board Member and Vice President of Business Development for PathoGenetix.
With Mr. Hoey’s appointment, Vaxxas is establishing operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to expand access to global pharmaceutical partners and complement the company’s research and development operations based in Queensland, Australia.
"We are extremely pleased that David, a proven leader in the life sciences industry, has become Vaxxas’ CEO and was attracted by the exceptional potential of Vaxxas’ Nanopatch™ to enable a new class of next generation vaccines," said Dr. Paul Kelly, Chairman of Vaxxas. "David’s ability to create strong partnering alliances and success in business strategy will be a great asset as Vaxxas capitalizes on the broad set of opportunities for its proprietary Nanopatch technology."
"I am excited to advance the commercialization of this unique technology and grow a company that has such broad potential to impact the next generation of vaccines and immunotherapies," said David Hoey, Chief Executive Officer of Vaxxas. "With the potential to elicit a 100-fold increase in immune response compared to conventional needle-and-syringe, Vaxxas’ Nanopatch™ platform has true game changing potential. Our strategy is to partner with leading pharmaceutical players to optimize their next-generation and existing vaccines, as well as being a platform to enable whole new classes of vaccines and immunotherapies." The company today announced its first collaboration with Merck.
Mr. Hoey, originally from Australia, brings more than 20 years of executive-level experience in business development, licensing, strategic planning, and financing for technology companies. His experience spans the preclinical development of small molecule and biologic therapeutics, molecular diagnostic assays and platforms, and analytical instrumentation. Mr. Hoey has completed over $400 million in corporate partnering transactions and equity financings in the United States, Europe, and Japan and has secured extensive contracts for US Government sponsored research. Most recently, Mr. Hoey served as vice president of business development at PathoGenetix, a Boston-based company pioneering single molecule detection technologies for automated identification and strain-typing of microorganisms for biodefense, clinical, and industrial applications. During his tenure at PathoGenetix, Mr. Hoey secured more than $55 million from US Government contracts and corporate strategic alliances, in addition to a series of equity financings.
Vaxxas is a privately-held biotechnology company focused on enhancing the performance of existing and next generation vaccines with its proprietary Nanopatch™ technology platform. Vaxxas’ Nanopatch contains an ultra-high density array of projections – invisible to the naked human eye – that are dry-coated with vaccine. Application of the Nanopatch to the skin is pain free and rapidly delivers the vaccine to the abundant immune cell population immediately below the skin surface. In a wide range of preclinical studies Nanopatch delivery of vaccine achieves equivalent protective immunity as the needle and syringe – but with only 1/100th of the dose. It has also been shown that Vaxxas’ proprietary dry-coating technology can eliminate the need for vaccine refrigeration during storage and transportation – removing the resource burden of maintaining the “cold chain”. Leveraging both the potent immunogenic response and thermostability, Vaxxas is applying its technology to improve the performance of vaccines, with initial applications targeting infectious disease and oncology. The company recently announced its first collaboration with Merck (MRK).
Vaxxas’ Nanopatch technology originated from Professor Mark Kendall's research group at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at The University of Queensland, the Australian university where some of the groundbreaking immunological work on HPV vaccines was performed. The University of Queensland’s main commercialization company, UniQuest, led the initial commercialization of the Nanopatch technology prior to the creation of Vaxxas in 2011. Vaxxas is backed by a strong group of venture investors including OneVentures, Brandon Capital, Healthcare Ventures, and the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund.
The company is initially focused on partnering with leading vaccine companies who are seeking a needle-free, differentiated, high performance, cost effective and safe vaccine delivery platform. For more information, please visit www.vaxxas.com.
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