REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Meissa Vaccines (“Meissa”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing vaccines to prevent viral respiratory infections, today announced the appointment of Frank Glavin as Chief Executive Officer, bringing more than 20 years of biotech and pharma experience across the biotech value chain from early-stage research through to commercial planning and business development. Martin Moore, Ph.D., cofounder of Meissa, will serve as the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer.
“I am excited to welcome Frank to the Meissa leadership team,” said Dr. Moore. “We are at an important stage in Meissa’s growth, and Frank brings extensive, complementary experience in commercial planning, business development, and pipeline strategy to advance novel technologies in clinical development for regulatory approval. I look forward to continuing to work with Frank and the Meissa team to drive our platform and vaccine candidates forward.”
“I’ve been working closely with Marty and the team as an advisor, and I am impressed with the differentiation of Meissa’s AttenuBlock platform in the vaccine space and the tremendous progress the company has made,” said Mr. Glavin. “The initial clinical data from the RSV and COVID-19 programs demonstrate the enormous potential of Meissa’s AttenuBlock platform to develop intranasal vaccines to protect against respiratory viruses, and we look forward to completing enrollment in these studies and reporting the data in the first half of next year.”
Mr. Glavin was previously CEO of Orphan Technologies, which advanced two rare disease assets from the lab to the clinic culminating in a sale to Travere Therapeutics (Nasdaq: TVTX). In addition, he was the Head of Neovii Biotech North America, where he was responsible for clinical development, regulatory approval, and commercialization of the US portfolio.
About Meissa’s Intranasal RSV Vaccine Candidate
Meissa’s MV-012-968, an intranasal live attenuated vaccine for RSV, is in a Phase 1c study in seronegative infants and young children (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04909021). Previously reported clinical data in seropositive adult and pediatric participants showed MV-012-968 was well-tolerated, appropriately attenuated, and stimulated RSV-specific mucosal IgA, despite pre-existing immunity to RSV. No vaccine is currently approved to protect against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a leading cause of respiratory infections, such as bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia, in infants.
About Meissa’s Intranasal Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
Meissa’s MV-014-212, the company’s intranasal recombinant live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine, is currently in a Phase 1 study in adults (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04798001). Meissa’s needle-free, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine is designed for global use to block transmission, provide durable protection, and control SARS-CoV-2 spread and variants. Previously reported preliminary clinical data from this study show a single dose of Meissa’s vaccine stimulated a nasal IgA antibody response similar to that seen after SARS-CoV-2 infection, with no serious adverse events reported and no infectious vaccine virus detected. Previously reported preclinical data demonstrate that Meissa’s intranasal COVID-19 vaccine generated both mucosal and systemic antibodies and was highly protective against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 challenge in non-human primates (NHPs).1
About AttenuBlock™: Meissa’s Intranasal Vaccine Platform
Meissa’s live attenuated intranasal vaccines are built on the company’s proprietary AttenuBlock platform to achieve appropriate attenuation, genetic stability, and optimized immunity. Injectable vaccines typically induce only serum (IgG) antibodies that circulate in the blood and are important for preventing serious lung disease. Intranasal vaccines also generate mucosal (IgA) antibodies in the nasal cavity, which are essential for blocking infection and transmission of respiratory viruses like RSV and SARS-CoV-2. Meissa’s vaccine platform and intranasal vaccine strategy are uniquely designed to confer mucosal immunity that will likely reduce transmission, if compared to injectable vaccines, provide long-lasting protection, and be a part of the global solution to controlling respiratory viruses.
About Meissa Vaccines
Meissa Vaccines was founded with a mission to protect people everywhere from life-threatening respiratory viruses and a commitment to develop innovative technologies capable of delivering effective vaccines at a global scale. Meissa is advancing live attenuated vaccine candidates against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and human metapneumovirus (hMPV). These vaccine candidates have been developed using the company’s proprietary AttenuBlock™ synthetic biology platform, which includes codon deoptimization and technologies exclusively licensed from Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Meissa’s live attenuated vaccine candidates are formulated to be delivered as a single, intranasal, adjuvant-free, needle-free dose and are designed to generate a strong, durable immune response to prevent infection and disease. Meissa is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. For more information, please visit www.meissavaccines.com.
1 Tioni, et al. “One mucosal administration of a live attenuated recombinant COVID-19 vaccine protects nonhuman primates from SARS-CoV-2.” Posted on biorxiv on August 6, 2021: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.16.452733.