Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 23, 2024 - 10:30

TRI and Vaxxas celebrate major manufacturing milestone

Brisbane biotechnology company Vaxxas has reached a major manufacturing milestone, producing its 100th batch of needle‐free vaccine patches at Australia’s Translational Research Institute (TRI) – technology that may soon play an important role in protecting Australians against infectious diseases.

Vaxxas’ high‐density microarray patch
(HD‐MAP) technology is a small patch with thousands of vaccine‐coated micro-
projections that can be applied to the skin
for just a few seconds to efficiently deliver vaccine to the abundant immune cells
just below the skin’s surface.

Vaxxas’ 100th batch milestone coincides
with the company’s official “graduation”
from Queensland‐based TRI, which has
been its home since 2015. This month, the company’s final TRI‐based employees make the move to Vaxxas’ new purpose‐built 5,500sqm headquarters at Hamilton in Brisbane, which officially opened mid‐last year.

TRI CEO Professor Scott Bell said the Vaxxas success story was proof‐of‐concept for the and TM@TRI, the new translational manufacturing facility currently under construction and set to welcome tenants in early 2026.

“Vaxxas’ journey at TRI is exactly the kind of home‐grown success story we need more of, and their example is an inspiration for other Queensland biotech and medtech start‐ups looking to transform world‐leading R&D into health outcomes for everyday Australians,” Professor Bell said.

Proudly funded by the Queensland Government and TRI, the new facility will be Australia’s first scale‐up biomedical manufacturing facility for early‐phase start‐up medtech and biotech companies looking to establish, build, test and develop their products.

“In its formative years, Vaxxas had the enormous advantage of using TRI’s state‐of‐the‐art facilities, including Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) T3 cleanrooms and PC2 laboratories. Equally important, they could access our specialist in‐house scientific expertise within a truly collaborative environment,” Professor Bell said.

At the TRI today to celebrate this milestone, Vaxxas CEO David Hoey explained how being at TRI has helped to expedite the company’s commercial pathway.

“It’s great to be here celebrating our official graduation from TRI and the 100th batch. They are significant milestones for Vaxxas as we advance our technology toward commercialisation,” Mr Hoey said.

“Consistent with the TRI’s mission to enable translational research, being based here enabled Vaxxas to manufacture HD‐MAP vaccines to support five successful Phase I clinical trials.

“The results have validated in humans the tremendous potential for our technology that we had seen in preclinical models. We’re now excited to be progressing toward late‐stage clinical trials, manufacturing from the Vaxxas Biomedical Facility in Hamilton.”

During its time at TRI, Vaxxas has undertaken five clinical studies using vaccines in combination with their HD‐MAP technology including COVID‐19, seasonal influenza and measles and rubella.

Mr Hoey said TRI’s new translational manufacturing facility is the perfect extension of capabilities to foster and accelerate growth and innovation in Queensland’s biomedical sector.

“This really is an exciting time for Queensland and the world is watching as the countdown to the 2032 Olympics begins. Brisbane already has the most important facets we think are necessary to establish and grow innovative biotech companies: great culture, great infrastructure, and a highly‐skilled workforce,” Mr Hoey said.

Vaxxas was the first start‐up biotechnology company to be based at TRI, moving into the building nine years ago to advance technology originating from research at The University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.

The Vaxxas team was also first to use TRI’s T3 cleanrooms, later partnering with TRI and MTPConnect to upgrade the manufacturing facility and establish a training hub. They also used TRI Core Facilities including Flow Cytometry, Histology, Microscopy, Biological Research Facilities and Preclinical Imaging.

“Vaxxas has been an important and generous participant in other important aspects of TRI’s ecosystem, sharing knowledge and exploring translational pathways in workshops, seminars and industry events,” Professor Bell said.

“With their use of TRI facilities, the Vaxxas team were well placed to provide invaluable assistance to develop GMP training and Quality Assurance documents that other TRI industry tenants are now benefiting from.

“While we are sad to farewell Vaxxas from the building, they are officially TRI Alumni and will continue to contribute to our collaborative knowledge‐sharing ecosystem.”