LimmaTech Biologics expands pipeline with a vaccine against a widespread bacterial pathogen

Following the closing of its first equity funding in Q4 2023, LimmaTech Biologics has acquired an exclusive clinical development license from AbVacc for LBT-SA7, a multivalent, toxoid vaccine candidate to prevent infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial pathogen, affecting approximately 30% of the human population. The company will initiate the Phase 1 clinical study in 2024 with an option to acquire full worldwide rights after the trial read-out.

LBT-SA7 is a six-valent toxoid vaccine candidate, designed and developed to date by AbVacc for the prevention of recurrent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen, causing a spectrum of infections, from skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) to severe conditions like pneumonia and bloodstream infections. S. aureus is the leading cause of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)-attributed fatalities, with community-acquired and hospital-acquired infections being the most prevalent.

The vaccine candidate contains weakened forms of toxins, referred to as toxoids, that would normally be secreted by the pathogen to cause an infection. The unique formulation of LBT-SA7 enables the body to fight against the infection by eliciting an immune response against the original S. aureus toxins. Preclinical studies in mice and rabbits demonstrated strong neutralizing activity against several clinically relevant forms of S. aureus infection. The vaccine candidate also showed efficacy in non-naïve mice pre-exposed to the pathogen.

With the in-licencing of LBT-SA7, LimmaTech Biologics has secured the exclusive rights to develop the drug candidate further. LimmaTech also receives an exclusive option, executable post Phase 1 read-out, to acquire full rights to the program. The Zurich-based company is at the forefront of combating the global antimicrobial resistance epidemic based on its unparalleled track record in vaccine technology and clinical candidate development. The company is leveraging its proprietary self-adjuvanting and multi-antigen vaccine platform alongside additional disease-specific vaccine approaches to prevent increasingly untreatable microbial infections.

“S. aureus-related infections remain an urgent global medical priority, for which no vaccine is currently available. Based on the original scientific work and the promising preclinical data generated by AbVacc, we aim to rapidly start clinical development and deliver an effective intervention for patients with a broad range of S. aureus infections,” said Dr Franz-Werner Haas, Chief Executive Officer of LimmaTech. “Building on our extensive vaccine development expertise, including against S. aureus, adding this program to our pipeline is a key milestone in our strategy to pursue innovative approaches to prevent increasingly untreatable microbial infections and positively impact the dangerous rise of antimicrobial resistance.”

(Press release/RAN )