Former Hookipa Biotech CSO and Sanofi/Acambis veteran to lead development of silk-based vaccine stabilization technology
June 30, 2014
Vaxess Technologies, Inc., an innovative life sciences company developing a novel vaccine stabilization technology, announced today the addition of Farshad Guirakhoo, PhD, to its leadership team as Chief Technology Officer. Vaxess’s proprietary platform harnesses the unique properties of fibroin, a protein derived from naturally-sourced silk fibers, to greatly improve the thermal stability of vaccine products. Heat-stable vaccines incorporating Vaxess’s technology can alleviate cold-chain constraints on global vaccine access and reduce distribution costs.
Prior to joining Vaxess, Dr. Guirakhoo was Chief Scientific Officer of Vienna, Austria-based Hookipa Biotech, where he led the development of a novel vaccine platform. Dr. Guirakhoo spearheaded preclinical and early GMP manufacturing development for the company’s lead vaccine candidate, helping the company raise €20 million in venture financing. Dr. Guirakhoo previously served as Senior Director of External R&D for Sanofi Pasteur, where he evaluated companies worldwide for collaboration, licensing, and M&A. Prior to Sanofi’s acquisition of Acambis, he led the latter company’s Department of Virology, where he coordinated the development of multiple vaccines (including IMOJEV, a marketed vaccine for Japanese encephalitis, and late clinical-stage vaccines for West Nile disease and dengue fever) and co-invented the ChimeriVax platform.
“I am delighted to join Vaxess Technologies,” said Dr. Guirakhoo. “Vaxess has already shown considerable success in the development of silk fibroin-based thermostable vaccine formulations. This breakthrough technology not only enables production of more cost-effective and accessible vaccines but can also eliminate the disposal of millions of vaccine doses that are exposed to temperatures outside refrigerated conditions along their journeys from production sites to vaccinating clinics.”
“From day one, Vaxess has maintained a focus on using its novel stabilization technology to positively impact global health,” said Vaxess CEO Michael Schrader. “The leadership Dr. Guirakhoo has displayed in launching numerous vaccine technologies is exactly what Vaxess needs to support the company’s pursuit of this goal.”
About Vaxess Technologies
Founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2012, Vaxess Technologies is pioneering a novel and proprietary stabilization technology for vaccines. The silk-based platform technology was developed in the labs of biomedical engineering professors David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto at Tufts University. For more information please visit the company website at www.vaxess.com or send additional inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.