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16 March 2022

RocketVax strengthens its technology portfolio and Covid-19 vaccine development through broad-based partnerships

RocketVax AG has entered into a new partnership with a broad-based consortium to accelerate the development of the second-generation Covid-19 vaccines.

RocketVax AG, a subsidiary of Swiss Rockets AG, has entered into a new partnership with a consortium of renowned research institutions. The collaboration with the consortium provides RocketVax with an additional portfolio of technologies. Members of this new consortium are leading institutes from Switzerland and Germany: the Institute of Virology and Immunology IVI, the University of Bern, the University of Geneva, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute. The consortium is led by Prof. Volker Thiel, the Institute of Virology and Immunology and the University of Bern, a pioneer in coronavirus research whose research team is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation’s National Research Program “Covid-19” (NRP 78). RocketVax and the consortium are financially supported by the German Research Foundation, Innosuisse, the Canton of Basel-Stadt, and private investors.

The goal of RocketVax is to find a solution for several health issues: Covid-19, cancer, and infectious diseases. The combination of RocketVax and consortium technologies enables vaccines based on attenuated live viruses.

The agreement, signed on 1 February 2022, covers research and development collaboration with the Institute of Virology and Immunology. More than 40 professors and postdoctoral fellows from Switzerland and Germany are working now within RocketVax projects, and their immediate focus is to develop a second-generation vaccine against Covid-19.

Compared to the first-generation vaccines, RocketVax’s vaccine differs in the following ways:

🔹 it provides a longer-lasting immune response resulting from T-cell activation;

🔹 the vaccine is effective despite mutations on the coronavirus spike protein because it contains all viral proteins and not only the spike protein;

🔹 nasal administration in the form of a nasal spray is possible;

🔹 the vaccine remains stable even at higher temperatures.

2021, Unispital Basel, the University of Basel, and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute have agreed to collaborate with RocketVax. The goal is to develop a next-generation vaccine against Covid-19 that will provide better protection against viral mutants and elicit a longer-term immune response. The collaboration is embedded in the existing close and productive research collaboration between the three institutions. University Hospital Basel provides start-up funding of one million Swiss francs to enable preclinical research on the new vaccine, which has already begun. The University of Basel and Swiss TPH participate through research infrastructure and human resources. The canton of Basel-Stadt supports the research collaboration with a contribution of one million Swiss francs from the location promotion fund.

About RocketVax AG:

RocketVax AG is a Swiss biotech startup based in Basel and founded in 2020. The company is based on the connections between Swiss Rockets AG, a Swiss incubator and accelerator for startups, 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 Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel.

At RocketVax, we use proprietary molecular biology and chemical technology to develop novel vaccines. Our first product is RVX-13, a live vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 based on breakthrough genetic engineering. Leading Swiss experts in immunology and virology have joined forces to translate a novel development concept against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a pathogen that has already ravaged countless lives worldwide, into a next-generation vaccine.

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