MoVax Biopharma is one of the three finalists for the Start-Up Award of the AtlasInvest Entrepreneurship Grant 2023.
Infectious disease outbreaks can seriously derail the health and economy of our society, as the COVID pandemic has shown. Prevention and control of these outbreaks require effective vaccines that can be produced quickly, at low cost, at large scale, and that are easy to distribute and use. Finalist for the Start-Up Award MoVax Biopharma has risen to this challenge and develops oral vaccines in the form of a pill. However, one thing must be taken into account with using a pill: the active substances must survive the strong stomach acid before they can be absorbed in the intestine.
For this, founder Christian Südfeld relies on the innate ability of microalgae to withstand degradation in the stomach and deliver drugs to the intestine. “Microalgae are promising vehicles for oral drug delivery but it has been challenging to turn them into a vaccination platform. Our innovative genetic engineering technology allows us to make microalgae that resemble any pathogen at the molecular level. While these engineered microalgae are perfectly safe for consumption, they trick the intestinal immune system into producing antibodies against the chosen pathogen. With the Atlast Invest Entrepreneurship Grant prize money we will finance a proof of concept study to show that our microalgal vaccines are not only safe but also generate a protective immune response.”