ZICCUM AB sharpens focus on three key vaccine platforms

In a strategic sharpening of its focus Ziccum AB is targeting three key vaccine planforms in its research and development work through 2022 and 2023 – driven by input from external collaborations and new internal technology capabilities. Ziccum Chairman Fredrik Sjövall: “a reviewed strategy based on these key, high-potential platforms bring a new focus to our work and value creation.”

With new CEO Ann Gidner beginning her role on May 9 and the company expanded into larger premises in April, Ziccum is now focusing on three key vaccine platforms in parallel with a streamlined project program.

Chairman Fredrik Sjövall: “This strategy will focus and drive forward business development and significantly strengthen the company’s offering to industrial partners. It will also serve as a foundation for generating new patents – not least in the area of mRNA/LNP (Liquid Nanoparticles).”

Ziccum has achieved positive preliminary data in tests with individual materials across several different vaccine platforms, as reported in December. Now however the company is focusing on gathering further data from a select target group of three key platforms:

Viral Vector platform using Adenovirus. Four major Covid-19 vaccines already use adenovirus vaccine vectors as a platform. The platform enables efficient gene transduction and research is ongoing in a wide range of indications, including in major projects in Sweden and the Nordics. Ziccum has worked extensively with adenovirus and in January 2019 submitted a patent application for a temperature-stable, dry formulation of Adenovirus.

Subunit vaccine (adjuvanted) platform: This platform is also being used in major Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Instead of using the whole pathogen, protein-based adjuvant vaccines use a defined protein antigen from the pathogen which can be recognized by the body’s immune system to provoke an immune response. Protein-based vaccines have been successfully developed over recent decades to treat diseases from diphtheria to tetanus. Ziccum is working on this platform in in collaboration with a major research institute in vaccination in the Nordic region.

mRNA/LNP vaccine platform: Generating data on dry-formulated mRNA/LNP materials is a key strategic priority for Ziccum, as stated in the 3 March 2022 update. Covid-19 has highlighted the efficacy of mRNA/LNP as a vaccine platform enormously. Ziccum is now expanding its in-house capabilities and has recently made major investments in new facilities and pecialized equipment for manufacturing and evaluating dry formulations of mRNA/LNP materials – investments which will be covered in an upcoming Press Release.

Chairman Fredrik Sjövall: “These investments will make us more independent in pursuing our own mRNA/LNP studies and intellectual property. Focusing in on select high-value projects with prestigious partners, plus our own in-house work on mRNA/LNP, will increase the value and range of data we can deliver to the industry. After years of working with diverse substances across a large number of platforms it brings new focus and impetus to our work and value creation.”