Vaxxas Opening Statement to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources

by Mike Junger, Senior Vice President - Advanced Technology, Vaxxas

25 July 2023

Committee members:

Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

Vaxxas is recognised as a global leader in the development of microarray patch technology for the administration of vaccines. Established in 2011, the company recently opened its first biomedical manufacturing facility, and global headquarters, in Brisbane with over 130 highly-skilled staff. This facility will support the production of late-stage clinical trials and first commercial product.

This is a transformative Australian technology with a global impact. Patch technology can replace the needle and syringe to improve the performance and reach of vaccines for all.

Covered in thousands of tiny micro projections coated in vaccine, the patch is housed in an applicator that delivers the vaccine to the abundant layer of immune cells just under the skin’s surface.

The advantages of patch delivery are:

  • It is safer and less invasive than needle and syringe due to the elimination of sharps
  • It has been shown to use less vaccine to achieve a comparable immune response
  • It is stable at ambient temperatures reducing the need for cold-chain storage and distribution
  • It can potentially be administrated by minimally trained staff, with the potential for self-administration.

To date, Vaxxas has administered vaccines to over 500 people in clinical trials, targeting seasonal influenza, COVID-19 and Measles and Rubella. Vaxxas is continually expanding the applications for its technologies, including a US Government sponsored pandemic influenza program and the development of mRNA vaccines. Recently, we have also shown success in an animal model in delivering a DNA-based vaccine to prevent cancer.

Our success and demonstration of manufacturing has allowed us to establish the Vaxxas Biomedical Facility. This is the first commercially focused facility for microarray patches in the world. We are appreciative of the strategic support we have received from all levels of government - including co-investment in the facility with Vaxxas by the Queensland Government and Federal Government MMI 1 and 2 grants for the installation of specialised manufacturing infrastructure. And at local government level where we have received support from the Brisbane City Council. Together, this assistance has allowed Vaxxas to develop its facility on home-soil, instead of being built overseas.

Vaxxas has attracted a significant pipeline of projects and global program partners including the US Government agency BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck, CSL Seqirus, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and others.

We are fully engaged in a significant program aimed at bringing the first vaccine patch to market. Historically this has been the jump-off point for many Australian-based biotech companies who must seek significant investment in capital works and clinical trial costs from the US and Europe.

With the assistance of State and Federal Government funding via the National Reconstruction Fund, Vaxxas hopes to achieve this right here in Australia. By establishing this type of sovereign manufacturing capability now, Australia has the opportunity to lay a foundation for future defense, intelligence and national security capabilities.