Creating a strong industry position in a booming market
It has been a very rewarding year for Ziccum (or eight months for my part), making such big strides towards a position as a top rank provider of game-changing technology to the international pharmaceutical industry, where achieving thermostable vaccines is highly desirable.
Setting the Ziccum direction
Defining a sharper strategy with selected vaccine platforms, and most importantly the high value next-generation mRNA vaccines and RNA therapeutics as top priority, has given consistent positive confirmations - from partnering dialogues, from our Biopharma licensing mRNA Market study and from our own internal trial results. We are confident going forward with this key focus.
The new business model defined, a classical Pharma out-licensing model starting with feasibility studies, has been well received and gives crisp clarity to business development efforts ahead. Given the strong interest in partnering dialogues, we have the Pharmaceutical Platform technology company business model strongly confirmed, giving licenses internationally, not producing as a contractor.
Pivotal transformation of the vaccine field and new applications of mRNA technology
Externally, the vaccine industry has gone through a complete transformation. From being a conservative, low margin segment of the Pharma industry, it has become a hot spot for rapid development, where existing players increase efforts significantly, and numerous new players want to enter the market. The Covid pandemic brought completely new insights, fuelling a strong industry desire for new vaccine development as well as for applying the novel mRNA approach in a range of new fields, like cancer vaccines and personalized therapeutics.
Business development progress
The booming market demand for new vaccine technology in combination with Ziccum’s unique drying concept enabling thermostable vaccines, now proven in a number of steps, makes for a great opportunity. Thanks to a clearly business-driven approach and an extensive industry network we are taking advantage of this, generating a significant number of partnering dialogues at four international conferences during fall. These are now pursued with in-depth dialogues going forward.
Proving the LaminarPace ability for mRNA/LNP
Getting the proof of successful drying of vaccine LNP particles at this point was most welcome. The LaminarPace drying has given good read-outs in terms of encapsulation, yield and particle preservation: keeping the LNP particles nicely in good shape and staying the correct size. We are delighted to bring these results to our business dialogues, and we are now setting up continued trials regarding vaccine activity; the verification that dried vaccine material is not only kept in good condition in high yields, but also giving a similar vaccine activity effect.
Developing ground-breaking technology, the smartest way
As novel, unique technology certainly needs development efforts, we took the important decision to run a multi-year 3D-Modelling project with a leading partner, the Zurich Institute of Applied Sciences. This way we efficiently come forward using the latest digital methods. We can run all the trials we want digitally, instead of a few selected, time-consuming physical trials. Ultimately, the project will also result in a Digital twin which can serve efficiently in tech transfer for successful process integration in the partner set-up.
We also applied to the EU organization Eurostars jointly with the Zurich Institute for soft funding of this ambitious effort, and just before Christmas we had the fantastic news of getting top ranking and receiving the full grant! This way we certainly can begin 2023 with full steam ahead.
Wrapping up 2022
An extra bonus was the launching of the new Ziccum website end of year, a total remake much better reflecting our offering: our technology and our team. Also, I was happy to present Ziccum at BioStock Life Science, getting significant interest. Finally, we had the great pleasure to expand our team with a Quality specialist, warm welcomes to Fatemeh starting in January.
Many thanks to the Ziccum team for great efforts and enthusiasm all year, taking the new strategy forward together, and to all supporting parties, owners and business partners for engaging in fruitful dialogues and supporting our efforts!
Lund, January 27, 2023
Ann Gidner, CEO