AstriVax awarded €3m to develop therapeutic vaccine for hepatitis B


The funding builds on AstriVax’s €30m in seed funding for its vaccine platform

AstriVax has announced that it has been awarded a total of €3m in funding from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) for its therapeutic vaccine targeting chronic hepatitis B.

The new funding will bring the company closer to revolutionising therapeutic vaccine development and creating a long-lasting impact in the hepatitis B field.

Affecting approximately 296 million people globally, hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus, which is spread through blood, semen and vaginal fluid.

The non-dilutive financial funding builds upon the award-winning €30m in seed capital funding that AstriVax raised in 2022 and the first VLAIO grant of €2.5m in May to advance the company’s innovative vaccine platform.

Hanne Callewaert, chief executive officer of AstriVax, said: “I am honoured that VLAIO recognises the potential of our candidate vaccine targeting chronic hepatitis B.

“This therapeutic vaccination strategy may play a key role in the steps towards functional cure for those patients that suffer from a chronic hepatitis infection.”

The company will draw on technology developed at the KU Leuven Rega Institute to develop novel vaccines that are easy to produce, have reduced cold chain requirements and offer robust and long-lasting protection against various viruses and other pathogens.

As well as the seed funding and the VLAIO grant, other investors in the vaccine platform include Flanders Future TechFund, Thuja Capital, Ackermans & vans Haaren, Mérieux Equity Partners, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity and the KU Leuven Gemma Frisius Fund.

In addition to this, with the aim of addressing major challenges in vaccinology, AstriVax has used the seed capital funding to bring its first thermostable yellow fever vaccine to the clinical development stage, as well as to further develop its pipeline of vaccine candidates, including those against rabies and chronic hepatitis B.

Callewaert added: “With the support from VLAIO, we can further optimise the therapeutic potential of our vaccine platform technology in the globally recognised innovation ecosystem of Flanders.”

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