VBI Vaccines Announces Expanded Strategic Partnership with Canadian Government to Advance mRNA-Launched eVLP (MLE) Vaccine Platform

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VBI Vaccines expands collaboration with the Canadian government to accelerate development of its novel MLE technology platform. The partnership will direct CAD$28 million towards VBI's proprietary technology platforms, including the MLE platform, showing promising preclinical results and potential for streamlined manufacturing timelines.
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The announcement of VBI Vaccines' expanded collaboration with the Canadian government and the allocation of CAD$28 million towards the development of their MLE platform is a significant stride in the biotechnology sector. This investment underscores the confidence in VBI's technology and its potential contribution to future epidemic and pandemic preparedness. The MLE platform's ability to generate strong B-cell and T-cell responses positions it as a promising candidate in the competitive landscape of vaccine development, where efficacy and rapid response to emerging threats are paramount.

The biotech industry is particularly sensitive to advancements in vaccine technology, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors are likely to view this partnership as a positive indicator of VBI's potential for growth and innovation. The support from the Canadian government not only provides financial backing but also suggests a level of validation for the technology's prospects. However, the long-term implications for VBI's stock will depend on the successful progression through clinical trials and eventual market adoption of the technology.

The financial implications of this government-funded partnership for VBI Vaccines are twofold. Firstly, the direct infusion of CAD$28 million can accelerate the R&D process, potentially reducing the time to market and increasing the chances of success for the MLE platform. Secondly, the partnership may attract attention from institutional investors and potential industry partners, who often look for signals of confidence from government entities in innovative technologies.

It is important for stakeholders to monitor the utilization of funds and the milestones achieved with this investment. While the immediate financial impact is positive, the true measure of success will be the platform's ability to meet clinical endpoints and secure regulatory approval. Additionally, the optimization of manufacturing processes funded by this initiative could lead to cost efficiencies and higher profit margins in the long run, which would be a boon for investors.

The MLE technology's emphasis on generating robust B-cell and T-cell responses is a important aspect of vaccine efficacy. B-cells are responsible for producing antibodies that neutralize pathogens, while T-cells can kill infected cells and support long-term immune memory. The comparison with other mRNA vaccines suggests that MLE technology could offer improvements in immune response, which is a key differentiator in the vaccine market.

The collaboration's focus on developing stable cell lines and optimizing manufacturing processes is also noteworthy. These advancements could lead to the rapid adaptation of vaccines to emerging viral strains, a critical feature in the context of global health security. The ability to quickly update vaccines in response to new threats could position VBI as a leader in the field, provided that their technology proves to be scalable and effective in human trials.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- VBI Vaccines Inc. (Nasdaq: VBIV) (“VBI” or the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company driven by immunology in the pursuit of powerful prevention and treatment of disease, today announced that it has expanded its collaboration with the government of Canada, supported by a funding contribution from the government’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). Under the new agreement, the remaining CAD$28 million of funding available under the previously committed CAD$56 million will be directed toward the development of VBI’s proprietary MLE platform, a next-generation version of the Company’s particulate, enveloped virus-like particle (“eVLP”) vaccine technology that enables the coding of eVLPs using messenger RNA (“mRNA”). In preclinical studies, VBI’s MLE candidates generated strong B-cell and T-cell signals compared to those seen with other mRNA vaccines tested. The technology platform also offers potential for streamlined manufacturing timelines, similar to other mRNA vaccines.

“We are grateful for the continued support of our long-term partners in the Canadian government, and are pleased to extend our work together to investigate our novel MLE platform, which we think has the potential to revolutionize particulate vaccines,” said Jeff Baxter, President and CEO of VBI. “This funding will enable us to validate and expand this technology, one that we believe could have broad applicability.”

Additionally, in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, the partnership will also support the development of stable cell lines, using proprietary gene-editing techniques to enable rapid updates depending on viral target, as well as the optimization of manufacturing timelines, processes, and yields sufficient to support late-stage clinical studies. Consistent with the strategic intent of the original agreement, development will primarily focus on platform development and will also include a pan-coronavirus MLE candidate to contribute toward future epidemic and pandemic preparedness.

About the mRNA-Launched eVLP (MLE) Program

Standard mRNA vaccines are transported to cells in a lipid nanoparticle, carrying instructions in the form of genetic code that teach the immune system to generate proteins that trigger an immune response to a target antigen. VBI’s MLE approach adds a structural viral protein core – the same protein at the core of VBI’s eVLPs – to an mRNA vaccine. The addition of this protein instructs cells not only to create target antigens, but also to create eVLPs in vivo, which then circulate in the body, provoking the immune system to drive potent B-cell and T-cell responses.

About VBI Vaccines Inc.

VBI Vaccines Inc. (“VBI”) is a biopharmaceutical company driven by immunology in the pursuit of powerful prevention and treatment of disease. Through its innovative approach to virus-like particles (“VLPs”), including a proprietary enveloped VLP (“eVLP”) platform technology and a proprietary mRNA-launched eVLP (“MLE”) platform technology, VBI develops vaccine candidates that mimic the natural presentation of viruses, designed to elicit the innate power of the human immune system. VBI is committed to targeting and overcoming significant infectious diseases, including hepatitis B, coronaviruses, and cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as aggressive cancers including glioblastoma (GBM). VBI is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with research operations in Ottawa, Canada, and a research and manufacturing site in Rehovot, Israel.

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Cautionary Statement on Forward-looking Information

Certain statements in this press release that are forward-looking and not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). The Company cautions that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may materially affect the Company’s results of operations. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including but not limited to, the Company’s ability to regain and maintain compliance with the listing standards of the Nasdaq Capital Market, the Company’s ability to satisfy all of the conditions to the consummation of the transactions with Brii Biosciences, the Company’s ability to comply with its obligations under its loan agreement with K2 HealthVentures, the impact of general economic, industry or political conditions in the United States or internationally; the impact and continuing effects of the COVID-19 endemic on our clinical studies, manufacturing, business plan, and the global economy; the ability to successfully manufacture and commercialize PreHevbrio/PreHevbri; the ability to establish that potential products are efficacious or safe in preclinical or clinical trials; the ability to establish or maintain collaborations on the development of pipeline candidates and the commercialization of PreHevbrio/PreHevbri; the ability to obtain appropriate or necessary regulatory approvals to market potential products; the ability to obtain future funding for developmental products and working capital and to obtain such funding on commercially reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to manufacture product candidates on a commercial scale or in collaborations with third parties; changes in the size and nature of competitors; the ability to retain key executives and scientists; and the ability to secure and enforce legal rights related to the Company’s products. A discussion of these and other factors, including risks and uncertainties with respect to the Company, is set forth in the Company’s filings with the SEC and the Canadian securities authorities, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 13, 2023, and filed with the Canadian security authorities at on March 13, 2023, as may be supplemented or amended by the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Given these risks, uncertainties and factors, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. All such forward-looking statements made herein are based on our current expectations and we undertake no duty or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law.

VBI Contact

Nicole Anderson

Director, Corporate Communications & IR

Phone: (617) 830-3031 x124


Source: VBI Vaccines Inc.


What is VBI Vaccines collaborating on with the Canadian government?

VBI Vaccines is collaborating with the Canadian government to accelerate the development of its novel MLE technology platform.

How much funding is being directed towards VBI's technology platforms?

CAD$28 million of funding is being directed towards VBI's technology platforms.

What is VBI's MLE platform?

VBI's MLE platform is a next-generation version of the Company's eVLP vaccine technology that codes eVLPs using mRNA, showing strong B-cell and T-cell signals in preclinical studies.

What are the potential benefits of VBI's MLE technology platform?

VBI's MLE technology platform offers potential for streamlined manufacturing timelines and could revolutionize particulate vaccines.

Who is the President and CEO of VBI Vaccines?

Jeff Baxter is the President and CEO of VBI Vaccines.

VBI Vaccines Inc.


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Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing
United States of America