Akston Biosciences to Focus on Strong Animal Health Pipeline

BEVERLY, Massachusetts – Aug. 17, 2023 – Akston Biosciences Corporation announced today that it will focus on inventing, developing, and manufacturing breakthrough protein therapeutics for Companion Animal Health, utilizing its versatile Ambifect™ Fc-fusion platform and its Beverly, Massachusetts cGMP biologics manufacturing facility. Akston is spinning off its infectious disease vaccine and human Type 1 Diabetes prevention lines of business into two wholly-owned subsidiaries: Vakston, Inc. and Diamune Therapeutics, Inc.

Akston’s most advanced Animal Health candidates, AKS-321d and AKS-425c, are once-a-week insulins designed to treat canine and feline diabetes. Both are licensed to and are being developed in partnership with Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Plc, a global veterinary pharmaceuticals company. Based on responses from the owners of animals treated to date, Akston believes that upon regulatory clearance both can achieve rapid market adoption and are potential Animal Health “blockbusters.” The company’s pipeline also includes AKS-544d, which targets chronic pain in canines, and AKS-197d, an insulin receptor down-regulator for treating canine cancers.

“As with human health 20 years ago, protein therapeutics are now poised to revolutionize companion Animal Health,” said Todd Zion, Ph.D., President & CEO of Akston Biosciences. “Our goal is to be a major player in this revolution, through focused efforts that leverage our ability to develop products from concept through commercial manufacturing.”

In addition to inventing and developing its own therapeutic candidates, Akston serves as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) for Animal Health companies, using its vertically integrated capabilities, including:

• Multi-kilogram-scale cGMP biologics clean-room factory
• Product-scale Process Development and Quality Control facilities
• Pharmacology laboratory

“Spinning out Vakston and Diamune allows each new company to continue developing its promising candidates at the proper pace, reflecting their own investment thesis.” said Rahul Bhansali, Managing Partner at Formation Venture Engineering, an Akston shareholder that is focused on game-changing life science technologies. “We are taking a leading role with Vakston to continue moving the AKS-452 vaccine forward and expanding beyond COVID-19 to apply Akston’s Ambifect™ Fc-fusion platform to a range of infectious diseases.”

About Akston Biosciences
Akston Biosciences Corporation invents, develops, and manufactures breakthrough protein therapeutics for Companion Animal Health. It was founded by the team that developed the world’s first clinical glucose-responsive insulin at SmartCells, Inc. (sold to Merck & Co.). Akston uses its Ambifect™ Fc-fusion platform to design its own novel candidates and operates a multi-kilogram-scale cGMP biologics clean-room factory dedicated to Animal Health therapeutic production. The company also provides Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) services for other Animal Health companies. Additional information is available at www.akstonbio.com.

Linda Pendergast-Savage
Birnbach Communications for Akston Biosciences
1-508-224-7905 | lpendergastsavage@birnbachcom.com