Salem News

AKS-452: The newest vaccine – COVID-19 shot developed by Beverly company reaches trial stage

(April 19, 2021) BEVERLY — A COVID-19 vaccine developed by a company in Beverly is being tested on volunteers in the Netherlands.

Akston Biosciences announced this week that the first participants in a clinical trial have received doses of its vaccine, called AKS-452. The company is hoping to get approval from European regulators and then seek approval in the United States. READ THE ARTICLE


Second gen vaccines could hold key to vanquishing virus

(April 21, 2021) The week-long lockdown comes at a time when India is in the midst of a veritable health crisis; not only are many of its ICUs being overwhelmed by an exponential surge in cases of the virus, but the problem is also being compounded by significant vaccine shortages. 

In the Netherlands, for example, Akston Biosciences are beginning clinical trials for their new candidate, named AKS-452. Capable of retaining its potency in temperatures of up to 25°C for four months and remaining shelf-stable at 37°C or below for 30 days, the vaccine could offer a substantial selling point in India’s sweltering heat. What’s more, the fact that AKS-452 dispenses with a live or weakened form of the virus in favor of conventional, low-cost manufacturing methods means that its creators claim a single, 2,000-litre production line would have the capacity to churn out over one billion doses per year. READ THE ARTICLE

Boston Business Journal

Small, local biotechs make progress on their own Covid-19 drugs

(April 16, 2021) The biggest players in the Covid-19 space are the ones that dominate the headlines: Moderna Inc. with its promising new vaccine booster shot candidates, Pfizer and BioNTech with boosters of their own in development and Gilead Sciences, Eli Lilly and Regeneron with antivirals and antibody treatments. But as the pandemic continues around the globe, small Massachusetts firms are developing potential vaccines and treatments of their own — and two of them hit milestones in that process this week. READ THE ARTICLE

Drug Discovery Today

Akston Biosciences Launches Phase I/II Clinical Trial of Second-Generation COVID-19 Vaccine

(April 15, 2021) First subjects dosed with AKS-452, COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the Netherlands trial the vaccine is shelf-stable for 4 months at 25 degrees Celsius (77° Fahrenheit). 176 volunteers will participate in the clinical trial the safety and immune response read-outs expected in Q2 2021. READ THE ARTICLE

Africa Times

Africa’s need for a dedicated Covid-19 vaccine supply

(April 15, 2021) As with so many other facets of global wealth (and health) inequality, the rollout of the four Covid-19 vaccines produced by Western pharmaceutical companies and approved by American and European health officials – the “Big Four” of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson – has quickly became yet another tale of haves and have-nots.

Fortunately, a new slate of vaccines fit for use in the least-developed areas of sub-Saharan Africa are currently undergoing trials and could soon offer African health officials alternatives to the AstraZeneca/Johnson & Johnson duopoly. They include the AKS-452 vaccine produced by Akston Biosciences, which is currently undergoing a Phase I/II clinical trial hosted by the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. READ THE ARTICLE


Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

(April 14, 2021) Even before the appearance of a number of worrisome variants threw a spanner into the works of the world’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, the free-for-all in which wealthy countries snapped up enough doses to inoculate their populations several times over, while some developing nations have yet to administer a single shot, had been dubbed a “catastrophic moral failure”.

Fortunately, several forward-thinking companies are already working on the second generation of Covid vaccines – shelf-stable products which could be used to decrease vaccine inequality around the globe and provide booster shots for already-vaccinated populations. Massachusetts-based firm Akston Biosciences, for example, has developed AKS-452, a recombinant subunit candidate which is easy to transport, shelf-stable for weeks at up to 37°C, and inexpensive to produce. READ THE ARTICLE