Vaxess Technologies

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Vaxess Technologies Incorporated
FoundedDecember 18, 2011 (2011-12-18)
Number of employees

Vaxess Technologies, Inc. is a company started by a team of four graduate students from Harvard developing a suite of vaccines on the MIMIX sustained dermal delivery platform that combines high temperature stability, improved efficacy, and simplified delivery to improve global vaccine access.[1][2][3][4]


Students Michael Schrader, Livio Valenti, Kathryn Kosuda, and Patrick Ho started Vaxess in December 2011, based on a technology created by David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto.[5][6][7] Schrader graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2012. Valenti attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Kosuda had been a Harvard postdoctoral fellow in chemistry, and Patrick Ho had earned a J.D in 2012.[8]

In 2012, Vaxess was awarded $25,000 from Harvard Business School for Harvard's Business Plan Contest in the Business Ventures Track.[9][10][5][11] Vaxess Technologies was a semi-finalist for MIT's $100K Entrepreneurship Competition in the Life Sciences section.[12][13] In 2012, it won the Harvard President's Challenge in the Global Health section and was awarded $70,000.[14][15][16][17] The company was selected as a finalist for two 2013 MassTLC Awards, Start-Up to Watch and Innovative Technology of the Year: Healthcare/Life Sciences.[18]

In May 2013, Vaxess received $3.75M in funding from Norwich Ventures and an undisclosed amount of money from angel investor Jeffrey Walker.[19]

In August 2013, the company announced that it would be moving out of Harvard's Innovation Lab to a new location at LabCentral in Cambridge.[20][21]

In December 2013, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awarded $1.5M to local startups. Vaxess received $1M of that amount which is the most that the MLSC's Accelerator Loan Program will lend to one organization. Vaxess's CEO Michael Schrader was quoted as saying, "The $1 million Accelerator loan will enable Vaxess to grow the company’s internal R&D capabilities and deliver heat-stable vaccines to patients around the world even sooner."[22]

In January 2014, co-founder Livio Valenti was named by Forbes's 30 Under 30 in Science & Healthcare for his work with Vaxess.[23][24][25]

In February 2014, Vaxess added George Siber, M.D. to their organization as the chair of their Scientific Advisory Board. Previously, Siber served as the EVP and CSO of Wyeth Vaccines. He also played a role in bringing Prevnar to market.[26]

In April 2014, Vaxess announced that Thomas Monath, MD, and Russell Middaugh, PhD. would join the company's scientific advisory board. Monath being an expert in the field of vaccinology and Middaugh being an expert in the fields of in the fields of biophysical chemistry and pharmaceutical formulation.[27]

In February 2015, Verizon announced that Vaxess had won one of the $1M Verizon Powerful Answers Awards. Verizon issued approximately $6 million is prizes to 12 different organizations across 4 categories. Vaxess won first place in the Transportation category, above HopOn and Matternet.[28][29]

In March 2017, Vaxess announced the receipt of $6M in grants from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to advance both an inactivated polio vaccine as well as a measles-rubella vaccine on the company's MIMIX platform. The grants will fund development of both the MIMIX platform as well as these two specific indications over the next two years.[30]


Vaxess's business plan is based around a technology developed by Tufts University Professors Fiorenzo Omenetto and David Kaplan. The technology uses a silk-derived protein called fibroin to stabilize vaccines so that they can be shipped and stored without refrigeration, eliminating the need for the cold chain.[31][32][33] Vaxess is working with vaccine manufacturers to develop heat-stable vaccines and targeting a product launch by 2019.[34]


  1. ^ Burgstone, Jon (2012-04-25). "4 Harvard Start-ups to Watch". Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  2. ^ "MIT $100K - Vaxess Technologies". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  3. ^ Parrish, Kelsey (2014-02-25). "Vaxess Technologies – Michael A. Schrader Interview". Outlier Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  4. ^ Schiller, Ben (2017-03-14). "Designing a More Efficient, Temperature Proof Vaccine". Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b Landry, Lauren (2012-04-25). "Harvard Business School's Business Plan Contest Doles Out Over $150K". BostInno. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Vaxess History". Vaxess Technologies. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  7. ^ Landry, Lauren (2012-05-30). "How a Diverse Mix of Harvard Students & Tufts' Technology Can Increase the World's Vaccine Access". BostInno. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Harvard entrepreneurs weave silk with science". Harvard Gazette, June 4, 2012
  9. ^ "Harvard's Next Zuckerberg?". CNBC. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  10. ^ Di Meglio, Francesca (2012-05-04). "B-School Highlights: May 4". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Harvard Business School Holds 16th Annual Business Plan Contest". Harvard Business School. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  12. ^ Landry, Lauren (2012-04-19). "The 30 Semi-Finalist Teams Competing in MIT $100K's Life Science, Product & Emerging Market Tracks". BostInno. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  13. ^ "MIT$100K Semi Finalists". MIT. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  14. ^ Friedman, Amy (2012-06-05). "Vaccination Company Wins President's Challenge Grand Prize". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 6 June 2012.
  15. ^ "President's Challenge Finalist Teams". Harvard. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  16. ^ Landry, Lauren (2012-04-12). "Harvard's Innovation Lab Announces the 10 Teams Competing for $100K in the President's Challenge". BostInno. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  17. ^ Moore, Mary (2012-06-04). "Startup Vaxess Technologies wins Harvard social enterprise award". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  18. ^ "MassTLC Technology Leadership Awards: 2013 Finalists Archived 2013-09-26 at the Wayback Machine". MassTLC. Retrieved 15 August 2013
  19. ^ Lauren, Landry (2013-05-23). "Aimed at Increasing Vaccine Access, Vaxess Raises the First Part of a $3.75M Series A". BostInno. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Twitter Moves to LabCentral". Twitter. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
  21. ^ Fruehauf, Johannes. "First company selected for LabCentral: Vaxess". LabCentral. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  22. ^ Borchers, Callum (2013-12-19). "Massachusetts Life Sciences Center awards $1.5 million in new loans". Boston Globe. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  23. ^ "2014 30 Under 30: Science & Healthcare". Forbes. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  24. ^ Fumagalli, Laura (2014-01-27). "Livio: dalla Bocconi a Forbes, pensando alla Cambogia". Sarfatti, 25. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  25. ^ Benedettelli, Benedettelli (2014-07-05). "I vaccini senza frigorifero di due italiani ad Harvard". Avvenire. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Vaccine Industry Leader George Siber, M.d. Joins Vaxess Technologies As Chairman Of Scientific Advisory Board" (PDF). Vaxess. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  27. ^ "Thomas Monath and Russell Middaugh Join Scientific Advisory Board of Vaxess Technologies". FierceMarkets. 2014-04-04. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Verizon's $1M Powerful Answers Award Winners Boast Solutions with Potential to Change our World for the Better". PR Newswire. 2015-01-03. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  29. ^ Paul, Joseph (2015-02-15). "Purdue graduate's technology could help stabilize vaccines". Daily Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Vaxess Technologies Receives Grants Totaling $6 Million to Develop Microneedle Vaccines for Polio, Measles, Rubella". PR Newswire. 2017-03-06.
  31. ^ "Vaxess Technologies". Harvard Innovation Lab. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  32. ^ Marinelli, Andrea (2012-06-13). "Vaxess, la startup italiana che ha conquistato Harvard". America24. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  33. ^ "Winning the competition for ideas". Boston Globe. 2012-05-20. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  34. ^ Cohan, Peter (2012-08-13). "Vaxess Goes To Harvard". Forbes. Retrieved 13 August 2012.

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