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PRESS RELEASE: Evaxion Partners With Pharmaceutical Company Afrigen Biologics to Develop Novel mRNA Vaccine Against Gonorrhea

  • Partnership based on a highly protective vaccine candidate identified by Evaxion’s EDENTM platform
  • The collaboration will access mRNA technology from the WHO and Medicines Patent Pool’s mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer Hub
  • Afrigen responsible for the development and commercialization of the resulting mRNA vaccine in LMICs and African territories


COPENHAGEN, Denmark, September 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Evaxion Biotech A/S (NASDAQ: EVAX) (“Evaxion” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in the development of AI-powered immunotherapies, today announced a collaboration with Afrigen Biologics (Afrigen). The collaboration aims at developing a prophylactic vaccine based on Evaxion’s EDEN™-discovered gonorrhea targets.

Evaxion’s Chief Scientific Officer, Birgitte Rønø, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled about this partnership. It offers a unique opportunity to deliver our EDEN™-identified antigens using mRNA and it accelerates clinical validation of the EDEN™ platform. This partnership has the potential to address a serious unmet global medical need against the pathogen for which no vaccine currently exists.”

Gonorrhea, caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is a sexually transmitted disease that exerts a significant influence on global sexual and reproductive health and elevates the susceptibility to HIV, another major health problem in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an alarming estimate of 82 million new gonorrhea infections occurring annually worldwide with a rise in antibiotic-resistant cases.

The EDEN™-discovered antigens have demonstrated high levels of protection in preclinical studies. This partnership will explore the expression and biological activity of the antigens in mRNA format. Following the validation phase, the partners will negotiate a subsequent agreement for clinical development and commercialization, with the opportunity to bring in additional partners.

“We are excited to announce Evaxion’s second partnership this week. This is a further validation of our strategy to identify the right partners who can bring our novel AI-designed vaccines to the market” said Evaxion CEO, Christian Kanstrup.

Afrigen’s Managing Director, Professor Petro Terblanche, states “This innovative exciting partnership enables the mRNA technology platform established at Afrigen through the support of the WHO and MPP to expand the pipeline of products to be developed for the mRNA Programme. This supports the sustainability of manufacturing capacity being created in the LMIC partners.”

About EDEN™

EDEN™ is a proprietary AI platform capable of rapidly identifying those antigens that will trigger a robust and highly protective immune response against virtually any bacterial infectious disease. EDEN™ is fully AI-driven and designed to identify vaccine candidates faster and cheaper than current state-of-the-art methods. With EDEN™, we take a novel approach to vaccine development to combat the rising global issue of antibiotic resistance. For more information, visit our website. 



Evaxion Biotech A/S is a clinical-stage biotech company developing world-leading AI platforms. Evaxion’s proprietary and scalable technologies harness the power of artificial intelligence to decode the human immune system and develop novel immunotherapies for cancer, bacterial diseases, and viral infections. The company is committed to transforming patients’ lives with unmet clinical needs by providing innovative and targeted treatment options. For more information about Evaxion and its groundbreaking immunotherapies, please visit


About Afrigen Biologics

Afrigen Biologics is a Cape Town-based biotechnology company supported and capitalized by Avacare Healthcare Group and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa. Afrigen is being supported by the WHO and MPP mRNA Technology Transfer Programme to operate as the Center for mRNA vaccine technology development and transfer. Afrigen through international partnerships and local capacity building has established the first-ever vaccine adjuvant production and formulation technology center on the African continent. This center, in partnership with IDRI, a world leader in adjuvant development, focuses on next-generation vaccine adjuvants, which are not only geared at preventing disease, but have therapeutic value. For more information in Afrigen, please visit


Contact Information

Evaxion Biotech A/S     

Christian Kanstrup                   

Chief Executive Officer 

Source: Evaxion Biotech

Forward-looking statement 


This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “target,” “believe,” “expect,” “hope,” “aim,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “anticipate,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “estimate,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “will,” “can have,” “likely,” “should,” “would,” “could,” and other words and terms of similar meaning identify forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, risks related to: our financial condition and need for additional capital; our development work; cost and success of our product development activities and preclinical and clinical trials; commercializing any approved pharmaceutical product developed using our AI platform technology, including the rate and degree of market acceptance of our product candidates; our dependence on third parties including for conduct of clinical testing and product manufacture; our inability to enter into partnerships; government regulation; protection of our intellectual property rights; employee matters and managing growth; our ADSs and ordinary shares, the impact of international economic, political, legal, compliance, social and business factors, including inflation, and the effects on our business from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in the region surrounding Ukraine and Russia; and other uncertainties affecting our business operations and financial condition. For a further discussion of these risks, please refer to the risk factors included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except as required by law. 

Cape Town – January 18, 2023 – Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines is pleased to announce the appointment of Levent Selamoglu, pharmaceutical industry veteran, as chairperson of the board.

The board appointment is an important milestone in Afrigen’s growth trajectory, signaling the company’s evolution from a Cape Town-based startup to a key player in the health technology space, supported by a board chair of international repute.

Founded in 2014, Afrigen is a Cape Town-based biotechnology company initially focused on vaccine, adjuvants and nano-formulation product development and recently established the WHO global mRNA vaccine technology development and transfer Hub to build capacity and capabilities in LMICs to manufacturing mRNA vaccines. Afrigen is strategically directed, supported, and capitalized by Avacare Healthcare Group and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.

Selamoglu brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and industry expertise to the role. Highly regarded in the pharmaceutical field, he has held executive roles and board positions at, among others, GlaxoSmithKline, Frontier Pharma and Mustafa Nevzat / Amgen.

“The appointment of Levent Selamoglu to chairperson of the board is an important next step in Afrigen’s journey to becoming a vaccine and biologics product innovation brand with global reach and exposure. Not only does he bring a wealth of experience in biologics to the position, but also a calm and measured approach to innovation. His extensive experience in the functions of a vertically integrated biotechnology company will no doubt stand Afrigen in good stead as we step forward into the next growth phase,” says Professor Petro Terblanche, Managing Director at Afrigen.

Equally significant is the fact that Selamoglu understands the startup environment and the challenges that need to be managed in building Afrigen into a name on the cutting edge of biologics and product manufacturing – both on the African continent and beyond.

“Afrigen is ideally positioned – and, in fact, well on the way – to become an important international player in the biologics space and I’m delighted to be a part of that in my role as chairperson of the board. We have a mandate to deliver on a promise to address the unmet healthcare needs of low- and middle-income countries by building a vertically integrated sector that is self-sufficient and globally competitive, and I’m energized by the challenge,” Selamoglu shares.

Afrigen is committed to local capacity building through international partnerships to meet the essential healthcare needs of emerging economies.


Media contacts

Afrigen: Petro Terblanche – [email protected]

Irvine Partners: Delia de Villiers – [email protected]

IDC: Tshepo Ramodibe –  [email protected]

Avacare Health: Natalie Mutseyekwa – [email protected]

Webinar, Thursday 02 February 2023
13:00-15:00 GMT (UK) / 14:00-16:00 CET (Geneva) /
15:00-17:00 SAST (South Africa)

Register Here:

Nivelles – May 3, 2023

Quantoom Biosciences S.A. (“Quantoom”), a Univercells company, is proud to announce the successful shipment from Belgium and installation of the first Ntensify™ midi system for mRNA manufacturing at Afrigen Biologics in Cape Town, South Africa. This marks a significant milestone on Quantoom’s journey to radically change the way mRNA is manufactured.

Part of the WHO initiative to launch the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine

Within the framework of the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme driven by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Quantoom has been chosen by Afrigen as the technology partner for the second-generation process and equipment. This collaboration will facilitate the development of the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, serving as the base for an mRNA vaccine platform that will provide equitable access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

During the first in-person meeting of the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme taking place in Cape Town, over 200 participants from all around the globe, had the opportunity to visit Afrigen’s facility and were introduced to the Ntensify midi system.

This occasion also marked an important milestone for Afrigen as it was the inauguration of the mRNA Technology Transfer Hub facility in the presence of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, as well as Charles Gore Executive Director of MPP and the Honorable Ministers who took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

NtensifyTM : a game-changing technology for continuous RNA manufacture

The Ntensify midi system has a completely redesigned and optimized process for mRNA synthesis and purification. The construct-agnostic platform, used with complementary reagent pre-mixes, allows for the automated continuous production of gram-scale quantities of mRNA drug substance in a cost-effective manner. This GMP-compliant instrument is ideal for mRNA-based vaccine development and manufacturing. Quantoom is delighted to have successfully installed the Ntensify system and be able to contribute to the development of the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine paving the way toward an mRNA vaccine platform that will ensure fair access to vaccines for LMICs.

“Our team is thrilled to have shipped and installed our first Ntensify system in Cape Town. This marks an important milestone for the company as it’s the realization of a project we started less than two years ago! Back then, we wanted to revolutionize mRNA production and find innovative ways to support vaccine manufacturing during future potential pandemics” said José Castillo, CEO of Quantoom. “The Ntensify midi system brings radical innovation to mRNA production, and its successful installation in Cape Town is a testament to Quantoom’s commitment to providing innovative solutions for global health.”

“We are delighted to partner with Quantoom for the development of the first African-owned mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The successful installation of the Ntensify system in Cape Town is a crucial step towards achieving this goal and ensuring equitable access to vaccines for LMICs. We are excited about the potential of this game-changing technology for continuous mRNA manufacturing, and we look forward to leveraging it to create a sustainable and reliable supply of vaccines in Africa,” said Prof. Petro Terblanche, CEO of Afrigen.

Watch now the journey of the Ntensify midi system being transferred from Brussels to Cape Town.


About Quantoom Biosciences

Quantoom Biosciences is reinventing mRNA production by developing an RNA Platform (NfinityTM) that encompasses DNA (NplifyTM) and RNA (NtensifyTM) manufacturing and formulation (NcapsulateTM), along with critical reagent supply, from sequence to large scale production. We are a team of scientists, engineers and clinicians committed to solving some of the biggest DNA and RNA production challenges facing vaccines and therapeutics, by delivering greater access and autonomy to mRNA technology. Our facilities are strategically located in Belgium and France, in the heart of Europe, benefiting from an exceptional biotech ecosystem. Quantoom Biosciences is part of Univercells, a global life sciences Group with the mission of making biologics accessible to all”.

Contact details Quantoom Biosciences S.A.

José Castillo

Chief Executive Officer

[email protected]

BE & FR Media Relations

Cécile Hisette

[email protected]