Kiwi COVID 19 Vaccine Developer In Biobead Tech Collaboration

13 August 2020

Auckland: COVID-19 Vaccine Corporation (CVC), New Zealand’s COVID-19 vaccine development company, is collaborating with Dr Iain Hay, senior lecturer in Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland and his group. The university’s commercialisation arm, Auckland UniServices, has facilitated the collaboration.

Dr Hay is constructing the main biobead vaccine components for inclusion in CVC’s COVID-19 vaccine. Dr Hay, who is an expert bacterial molecular biologist, has had previous experience with the biobead technology. The unique biobead technology was developed in New Zealand by PolyBatics.

“It’s a genuine pleasure to be collaborating with the University of Auckland and Iain Hay in particular. CVC endeavours to use the best expertise available and wherever possible, in New Zealand. It’s a huge advantage to us that Iain has previous experience with biobead technology,” says Dr Robert Feldman, chief executive of CVC.

“We are pleased that CVC has chosen to partner with the University of Auckland on a project that adds to the significant portfolio of projects that the University of Auckland has contributed to in the fight against COVID-19,” says Will Charles, executive director of commercialisation at UniServices.

“Molecular biology skills are critical in effective vaccine development and we greatly appreciate how Iain and his team have swung in behind the creation of CVC’s vaccine. It is another example of the spirit of collaboration we are experiencing from scientists and technologists across New Zealand to help combat the challenge of this dangerous disease,” comments Dr Andy Herbert, CVC chief operating officer and chief scientific officer.

Dr Feldman says the company aims to complete its first human trial of the new vaccine early in 2022.

The CVC team includes Dr Robert Feldman, a global biotech expert and medical doctor with vaccine and start-up experience; Dr Andy Herbert, an expert in vaccine development and manufacturing; Tara Creaven-Capasso, a regulatory, quality and biotech expert with extensive international experience; and Helen Teale, who has global clinical trial management expertise. The company is chaired by Douglas Pharmaceuticals’ managing director, Jeff Douglas.