San Diego’s PaxVax Developing Oral Tablet Vaccine, Looks to Raise More Cash With Support of Seattle’s Ignition Capital

11/9/09Follow @bvbigelow

PaxVax, a San Diego startup backed by Seattle’s Ignition Capital, has raised $2 million of a planned $6 million investment round, according to a document filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The biotech was founded in early 2007 to develop new oral vaccine technology based on a common cold virus called the adenovirus. The company says its vaccine, which is administered as oral tablets, avoids much of the requirements that conventional vaccines require—including cold storage for the vaccine itself and inoculation by qualified medical personnel. PaxVax says its oral tablets can be stored and distributed at room temperature, and are self-administered.

PaxVax says its vaccines also can be produced in large quantities and at record speed and low expense compared with traditional vaccines derived from egg culture. The company also says an oral vaccine may yield a more robust immune response than traditional vaccines.

The biotech was co-founded by Ken Kelley, who has worked in biotechnology for more than 25 years, including such companies as IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals of Palo Alto, CA, and Integrated Genetics (acquired by Genzyme), and with such venture capital firms as K2 BioVentures and Latterell Venture Partners, according to the PaxVax website.

PaxVax’s board includes Ignition Capital operating partner Rennie Coit, who represents the Seattle VC firm at PaxVax. A pediatrician who got his medical degree at UC San Diego, Coit previously worked as a strategic planning consultant to clients that included academic medical centers, health insurance proviers, medical research organizations and global health providers. He also served as the chief operating officer of the University of Washington Medicine Neighborhood Clinics.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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