Delivering on the potential of self-amplifying RNA

VaxEquity (“VXT”) is dedicated to developing saRNA-based therapeutics and vaccines for unmet medical needs.

VaxEquity (“VXT”) is developing transformative RNA therapeutics and vaccines using its next generation self-amplifying RNA platform.

VaxEquity was founded in 2020 by Imperial College London and Morningside and is led by a world class team who are pioneers in the field of RNA.

saRNA + Speed + Equity = VaxEquity

News

VaxEquity Announces Strategic Collaboration with AstraZeneca to Commercialise Self-Amplifying RNA Platform

23 Sep 2021

VaxEquity receives upfront equity investment and up to $195 million and royalties in the mid-single digits per programme

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VXT is the latest member of the UK’s BioIndustry Association

13 Jul 2020

Delighted that VXT is the latest member of the UK’s BioIndustry Association, which has played a such a pivotal role in driving forward COVID-19 diagnostics, tools, therapies and vaccines.

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In the news

mRNA flu shots move into trials

11 Oct 2021

COVID-19 provided an opportunity to show that mRNA vaccines can work. Now, drug companies are racing to apply the technology platform for influenza.

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AstraZeneca teams up with Imperial offshoot VaxEquity on an RNA 3.0 effort

23 Sep 2021

Last year, Imperial College London professor Robin Shattock was given close to $50 million by the UK government to make an RNA-based Covid-19 vaccine.

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AstraZeneca makes RNA play, teaming up with startup to advance twist on red-hot modality

23 Sep 2021

AstraZeneca is making a play for the red-hot RNA market. Rather than move directly onto turf fought over by the likes of BioNTech, Moderna and Sanofi, AstraZeneca has teamed up with a new British startup that has put a twist on the idea of using nucleic acids to trigger production of a molecule.

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Events

BIO-Europe Digital - Panel Discussion:
RNA: applications and growth of a new modality

25–28 Oct 2021

The success of the mRNA vaccines has seen surge of interest in RNA technologies. This session will explore some of the non-COVID related therapeutics currently in development, which address other viral diseases such as the flu but also conditions in other therapeutics areas such as oncology.

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VXT’s innovative technology solution

VXT’s products are nanoparticles containing RNA, which self-amplify once delivered inside cells to deliver immune system stimulation and modulation.

LNP RNA section Intramuscular injection saRNA to protiens Amplify the RNA

Our platform is based on self-amplifying RNA (saRNA).

In the replicon, the portion of the RNA encoding viral structural components, essential for making an infectious particle, is replaced with those encoding therapeutic payloads (immunogens or therapeutic proteins, but also immunomodulators if required).

The replicon is delivered into cells in nanoparticles by intramuscular injection.

Once inside cells, the saRNA is translated into four proteins that make up the alpha-viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex.

These amplify the RNA of the payload sequences, enhancing therapeutic protein expression. This is different from other types of mRNA where the amount of payload protein expressed is directly proportionate to the level of protein expressed.

Applications and advantages

Our versatile saRNA platform has the potential to be used to treat a range of diseases with high unmet medical need in addition to its application as a vaccine for emerging and endemic pathogens.

VaxEquity uses saRNA to provide extended duration of protein expression. This enables lower doses to be used for vaccines and higher protein levels to be achieved for therapeutics. VaxEquity is pioneering a next generation approach by modifying its self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) to modulate the innate immune response and thereby overcoming current limitations. The flexibility of the Company’s platform ensures that its broad pipeline of assets can be designed, developed and manufactured rapidly and at scale.

Green virus graphic

Our team

Dr Mike Watson - Director, Executive Chairman

Dr Mike Watson

Director, Executive Chairman

A UK trained physician with over 20 years of global vaccines R&D and vaccination policy leadership and implementation experience, based in the UK, France, and USA. He has led teams and vaccine development projects in global vaccine companies as well as cutting-edge biotech companies, most recently as President of Valera, the infectious diseases and vaccines venture of the mRNA vaccine company Moderna. As well as taking 8 vaccines to first in man, 3 to phase 2/3, and 3 to licensure, recommendation and launch, he has extensive experience with novel platforms & technologies, global vaccines (Gardasil/HPV, Polio, and Influenza) and national and global vaccination innovation (Pediacel, Dengvaxia, Polio and Influenza). He has also directly raised over $150M in investor and non-dilutive financing and funding. As well as being Executive Chairman of VaxEquity he is co-founder and CEO of MEVOX Ltd. He is driven by the exceptional opportunity that vaccines give him to combine cutting-edge science, working with extraordinary people and impacting lives everywhere.

Prof Robin Shattock - Co-Founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer

Prof Robin Shattock

Co-Founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer

Robin Shattock has over 30 years’ experience in research and development of vaccines and antiviral therapeutics. He is a Professor of Mucosal Infection and Immunity at Imperial College, London. He is a pioneer in the development of saRNA technology, leading the initiative to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the disease at Imperial. He is an international leader in the field of vaccine immunology with a focus on development of vaccines to prevent pandemic threats and poverty related diseases. His academic research portfolio includes vaccine projects on HIV, Ebola, Lassa fever, Marburg and Rabies viruses and Chlamydia. He has a strong track record of translation research having taken a wide range of vaccine products through from discovery into clinical testing. Robin is an elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr Elaine Harper - Chief Development Officer

Dr Elaine Harper

Chief Development Officer

Elaine is Director of Product Development at Boyd Consultants where she provides product development advice to biopharmaceutical companies developing gene therapy, cell/ tissue engineered products, small molecule NCE and biologics including products delivered utilising nanoparticle technologies. Elaine received a degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College and an MPhil and PhD in pharmacology from Cambridge University and has over 25 years of research and development experience across a broad range of therapeutic areas including oncology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, inflammation and virology. Her experience includes; several years at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult as a Program Manager assisting cell and gene therapy developers translate research into commercially viable therapies and Head of Pharmacology and Cellular Systems at Syntaxin, a spin-out from the HPA developing recombinant retargeted botulinum toxins.

Dr Tim Sparey - Managing Director

Dr Tim Sparey

Managing Director

Tim is a successful, serial entrepreneur and biotech founder with extensive C-suite and board level experience in the pharmaceutical sector. In addition to working with VaxEquity Ltd as Managing Director, he is CEO of In4Derm Ltd, a University of Dundee spinout focussed on inflammation, is the chair of ConcR, and is an adviser to 3D Consultants, PanAngium Therapeutics, Cumulus Oncology and other clients. His previous biotech experiences were in multiple therapeutic and technology areas including cancer, CNS, ophthalmology and drug delivery in public and private companies including Novintum Biosciences, Midatech, Q Chip, Proximagen and Merck & Co. He has over 40 patents and publications.

Thea Stanway - Finance

Thea Stanway

Finance

Thea is a UK maths graduate and chartered accountant having trained with Peat Marwick (London and Bristol) and Coopers and Lybrand (Cambridge). She has over 20 years’ post-qualification experience. She has wide-ranging experience particularly having worked with the needs of small growing high-tech businesses both in practice and outside. She has worked extensively within the life sciences business sector also gaining overseas experience working in Norway between 1995 and 1999, reporting under both US and UK GAAP. Thea is Finance Director for CellCentric Ltd. and oversees other Morningside investee companies.

Our Board

Dr Mike Watson - Director, Executive Chairman

Dr Mike Watson

Director, Executive Chairman

A UK trained physician with over 20 years of global vaccines R&D and vaccination policy leadership and implementation experience, based in the UK, France, and USA. He has led teams and vaccine development projects in global vaccine companies as well as cutting-edge biotech companies, most recently as President of Valera, the infectious diseases and vaccines venture of the mRNA vaccine company Moderna. As well as taking 8 vaccines to first in man, 3 to phase 2/3, and 3 to licensure, recommendation and launch, he has extensive experience with novel platforms & technologies, global vaccines (Gardasil/HPV, Polio, and Influenza) and national and global vaccination innovation (Pediacel, Dengvaxia, Polio and Influenza). He has also directly raised over $150M in investor and non-dilutive financing and funding. As well as being Executive Chairman of VaxEquity he is co-founder and CEO of MEVOX Ltd. He is driven by the exceptional opportunity that vaccines give him to combine cutting-edge science, working with extraordinary people and impacting lives everywhere.

Prof Robin Shattock - Founder

Prof Robin Shattock

Co-Founder, Director and Chief Scientific Officer

Robin Shattock has over 30 years’ experience in research and development of vaccines and antiviral therapeutics. He is a Professor of Mucosal Infection and Immunity at Imperial College, London. He is a pioneer in the development of saRNA technology, leading the initiative to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the disease at Imperial. He is an international leader in the field of vaccine immunology with a focus on development of vaccines to prevent pandemic threats and poverty related diseases. His academic research portfolio includes vaccine projects on HIV, Ebola, Lassa fever, Marburg and Rabies viruses and Chlamydia. He has a strong track record of translation research having taken a wide range of vaccine products through from discovery into clinical testing. Robin is an elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Charles Mallo - Imperial Director Operations

Charles Mallo

Imperial Director

Charles joined Imperial College from a senior executive career in global private healthcare, where he built startups into business groups, as well as having major P&L roles at listed companies in the UK and abroad. He currently leads a specialist unit advising on strategic commercial academic led B2B step-outs for the College, as well having responsibility for elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem development at Imperial’s new £3b White City campus in NW London.

He has held various Board roles at early-stage healthcare companies, as well as for Imperial College JV entities in the past, and is a steering board member of its venture mentoring service, IVMS, comprising some 75 leading entrepreneurs from across all science disciplines.

He has represented Imperial at industry bodies such as London First and was chair of the advisory board of the 2019 bi-annual International Student Energy Summit. Charles graduated from the INSEAD Directors Programme and is on the steering board of a global alumnus driven energy initiative, responsible for the governance portfolio. He holds an M.Eng. (1ST Class) as well as business and executive education qualifications from leading universities in Europe, the UK, Asia and the USA.

Tyrell Rivers - AstraZeneca Director

Tyrell Rivers

AstraZeneca Director

Dr. Tyrell Rivers is an Executive Director of Corporate Development & Ventures at AstraZeneca, where he is responsible for creating and executing innovative, value-enhancing business strategies. Prior to assuming this role in 2014, he worked at MedImmune Ventures, specializing in biotechnology investing. Earlier in his career, Dr. Rivers held various positions at Merck & Co., where he led technical support for commercial vaccines and directed global business initiatives for accessing key technologies for research and development. He currently serves as a Board member of ADC Therapeutics, Cerapedics and Goldfinch Bio. Dr. Rivers holds his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.B.A. from the New York University Stern School of Business.

Anders Holmén - AstraZeneca Director

Anders Holmén

AstraZeneca Director

Anders was appointed to lead Pharmaceutical Sciences, BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca (AZ) in February 2016.

Anders joined AZ in 1998 as scientist and in 2005, he became Head of the Lead Generation DMPK team within the CVGI therapy area, and in 2008 he became Head of Early Development CVMD within the global Pharmaceutical Development group. Later Anders led the AZ Pharmaceutical Development team that developed formulations and supported Forxiga, Xigduo and Epanova successful submissions and commercial launches. During 2014-2016, Anders was seconded to GRAPSQA within Global Medicines Development as the global project leader for introduction of a new system for all our regulatory submissions.

Anders is passionate around building high performing teams and his team works across all therapy areas, with a focus to take the therapies of the future into clinical testing. Anders was founding member of the AI Innovation of Sweden board and is chairman of the Strategic Science Foundation FormulaEx consortium. In addition, he is a member of steering committee for the collaboration with Pieris Pharmaceuticals and has been heavily engaged in AZ’s collaborations with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Moderna and Ethris Therapeutics. Within AZ he is the sponsor for the global Digital Lab and Lab4Life programs which aim as developing AZ’s next generation labs.

Anders holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Chalmers University and he did research in the area of nucleic acids biophysics and quantum chemistry.

Dr Will West - Managing Director

Dr Will West

Investor Director

Will represents Morningside on the boards of several biotech companies, including Cyted Ltd. and F2G Ltd. He is also the CEO of CellCentric Ltd, a development stage cancer drug biotech company which he co-founded out of the University of Cambridge with Prof Azim Surani. He also co-founded CTS Inc, a Johns Hopkins’ spin-out focused on non-viral particles to deliver nucleic acid-based therapeutic products incorporating tissue specific promoters.

His scientific background is in virology and immunology, studying antibodies to RSV for his PhD, then as a post-doc at NIBSC, working on the MRC AIDS vaccine development programme. He was previously on the Executive Committee and Board of the BioIndustry Association, as well as Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). He Chaired the John Innes Centre, the world leading plant and microbial research institute. He holds a Masters in Clinical Research as well as an MBA from London Business School.

Dr Jason Dinges - Investor Director

Dr Jason Dinges

Investor Director

Jason is currently an investment advisor at Morningside Technology Advisory LLC, which he joined in 2011. He has extensive experience providing operational and management oversight to early-stage biotechnology companies. Dr. Dinges is also a director of several biopharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas including several clinical stage companies: Kezar Life Sciences (NASDAQ: KZR), Enyo Pharma, CellCentric, Inotrem SA, Bacainn Therapeutics, ApicBio, IM Therapeutics, Pinteon Therapeutics, and Allysta Pharmaceuticals. He has also facilitated multiple financings for private companies. From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Dinges was an associate attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP, practicing intellectual property law in the firm’s Chemical, Biotechnology, and Pharmaceutical practice group. Dr. Dinges received his Ph.D. in genetics from Iowa State University and a J.D., with highest distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Morningside Group

Morningside was founded in 1986 by the Chan family, to make private equity and venture capital investments in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

In the life sciences, Morningside specializes in early-stage (pre-clinical through human proof-of-concept) investments in biopharmaceutical products. They partner with academic founders and entrepreneurs to build world class companies that want to markedly improve the current state of medicine today and ultimately, the lives of patients.

Morningside’s focus is to invest in excellent biomedical research, where a significant body of knowledge has been gathered and there is a plausible path forward in clinical development. Their mission is to contribute to making meaningful, positive impact on prevention or treatment of human disease and believe that so long as this is achieved, commercial success will follow.

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