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Startups 2019

Posters

Silvacx

Armin Kübelbeck

Innovation & Business Idea

Our mission is to deliver the power of silica nanoparticles-based vaccines to patients. Our innovation introduces significant advantages, embodied by the power of highly immunogenic silica nanoparticles and the speed of vaccine production, taking the immunotherapeutic technologies to the next level. The power of our proprietary platform is highlighted by a therapeutic vaccine program addressing HPV-related cancers. This program is a collaboration between Silvacx and the German Cancer Research Center. The generated know-how is the basis for a technology platform dedicated for neoepitope-based personalized antitumor vaccines. Moreover, Silvacx and Texas Baylor College of Medicine have entered collaboration to develop a nanoparticle-based prophylactic vaccine for infectious disease. In addition, we are exploring the fields of animal health care to further validate the power of our technology.


Customers / Target Market

Cancer is, in general, the second leading cause of death world wide, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is likely to be the number two human carcinogen after tobacco. Each year, HPV causes 530,000 new cancer cases, including cervical, anogenital, and head & neck HPV-related cancers. However, the available preventative vaccines have protective effects, they are not effective once HPV infection is established. Moreover, the overall low vaccination rate will not reduce cancer cases sufficiently. The Silvacx’s target market is focused also on personalized immunotherapy based on neoepitopes, which could outperform any medical application field. This is an extremely attractive and huge market.


Competitors

Silvacx’s competitors in the fields of immunotherapy against HPV-related cancers and neoepitope-based vaccines, are e.g. ISA Pharmaceuticals, Advaxis Inc., Neon Therapeutics, BioNTech AG, CureVac AG, Moderna. Silvacx's technology platform, in contrast to the competitors, is dedicated for the rapid production of personalized vaccines based on neoepitopes conjugated with highly immunogenic silica nanoparticles. Using the carefully selected epitopes in vaccine design, post translational modifications of mutated proteins can be realized too. The peptide synthesis, the unique Silvacx’s spacer+linker technology as well as  the conjugation with silica nanoparticles can be performed within hours.


Intellectual Property Status

Silvacx has an exlusive licence based on the patent application WO2010/006753 from Merck KGaA. Several already granted patents are derived from this application. Moreover, two patent applications are currently under preparation.


Development Status & Future Steps

Various in vitro studies have shown a strong adjuvant effect generated by silica nanoparticles. Epitopes, which are conjugated to nanoparticles, are presented by dendritic cells and based on indicative head-to-head in vivo studies confirm the strong potential of this platform. Together with the German Cancer Research Center, we are evaluating our front runner for proof of concept – a novel therapeutic vaccine against HPV-related cancers. Currently, several "deep dive" in vivo studies are ongoing respectively planned for 2019.


Exit Strategy

We are open to several exit strategies including: co-development, exclusive licensing of dedicated pipeline projects, merger, buy-out or IPO.


Team Description

Our team consists of 3 biologists, 1 chemists and 1 engineer (chemistry). The team is a well balanced mix between industrial and academic experts in fields of immunology, cancer immunotherapies, vaccine development, nanoparticle chemistry, and peptide synthesis. Additionally, we have a scientific and a business advisory board consisting of six highly-distinguished experts from industry and academia.


Financing Need

We are currently at the Life Science Inkubator (LSI) in Bonn. The funded period will end in July 2020. Project term is 33 months and funding is €1.9 M. The financing need post incubation is under evaluation.


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Commercial Partner, Funding, Collaboration

 

Silvacx