Company Profile

Acambis PLC (AKA: OraVax Inc ~ Acambis Inc)
Profile last edited on: 3/8/19      CAGE:       UEI:

Business Identifier: Novel vaccines to prevent and treat infectious diseases
Year Founded
First Award
Latest Award
Program Status
Inactive (Acquired)
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Location Information

38 Sidney Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
   (617) 494-7339
Location: Single
Congr. District: 07
County: Middlesex

Public Profile

Previously an independent, publicly held biopharmaceutical company, in May 1999 Acambis Inc, (formerly dba as Oravax) was acquired British firm Peptide Therapeutics Group PLC. Subsequent investment in its vaccine production was French firm Pasteur Merieux. Another firm, Baxter, also invested and acquired parts of the Acambis vaccine group. The firm was acquired outright in July 2008 by the vaccines division of France's Sanofi-Aventis . The firm is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi-Aventis.The firm is focused on the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases of humans by applying recent advances in the fundamental understanding of mucosal immunity, the first line of defense against the majority of bacterial and viral agents. After the acquistion by Peptide, Acambis received a substantial NIH awards to work on West Niles Virus. Originally made as an SBIR award, the project was reclassified an RO1 after it was ascertained that the firm was no longer SBIR-eligible. Acambis has since been recruited to produce 209 million doses of smallpox vaccine for the US Government for the purposes of countering the threat of smallpox as a bioterrorist weapon. This is part of the US Government’s plan to provide a dose of smallpox vaccine for every man, woman and child in the US.The company is developing oral vaccines and monoclonal IgA antibodies. Acambis Inc's focus on the mucosal immune system is novel because augmenting immunity at the mucosal surface exploits defense mechanisms that have been largely ignored by traditional vaccine strategies. Product development is being pursued through a combination of internal research and development, external research agreements with leading academic institutions, and contract manufacture. OraVax develops oral vaccines and noninjected antibody products. It targets treatments for diseases caused by bacteria and viruses that infect the body through mucous membranes such as the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts. Its products, which are in various stages of development, include the HNK20 antibody for the prevention of viral pneumonia in children and a vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis. OraVax (Acambis Inc) has an agreement with Pasteur Merieux Serums & Vaccines to develop and market its H. pylori vaccines, which prevent and treat peptic ulcers, stomach cancer, and gastritis.

Extent of SBIR involvement

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Synopsis: Awardee Business Condition

Employee Range
Revenue Range
VC funded?
Publicly Traded
Stock Info
IP Holdings

Awards Distribution by Agency

Most Recent SBIR Projects

Year Phase Agency Total Amount
1999 1 NIH $104,504
Project Title: Chimeric YF/DEN2 As A Vaccine Candidate For Dengue Virus
1998 2 NIH $770,513
Project Title: Development Of A Vaccine For Clostridium Difficile
1997 2 NIH $801,218
Project Title: Genetic engineering of Japanese encephalitus virus
1996 2 NIH $823,740
Project Title: Helicobacter pylori urease oral vaccine
1995 1 NIH $86,331
Project Title: Attenuated Shigella as Vector for Helicobacter Vaccine

Key People / Management

  Paul J Giannasca

  Cynthia Lee

  Thomas P Monath

  William D Thomas Jr

  Richard A Weltzin

Company News

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