Professor Ulrike Protzer and her TherVacB team at Helmholtz Munich and TUM have been honoured with the prestigious Bavarian m4 Award 2023. Key members of the Helmholtz Munich and TUM team for TherVacB proudly received the m4 Award on 24 October 2023 at Munich Residence (surrounded by BioM representatives on the picture are from left to right Dr. Anna Kosinska, Dr. Marian Wiegand, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Protzer, Romina Bester, Dr. Frank Thiele, Prof. Dr. Percy Knolle).
The prize acknowledges their promising therapeutic hepatitis B vaccine that is able to reactivate antiviral immune responses. Preclinical models have already demonstrated its effectiveness in curing chronic infection, initial clinical trials will start soon. This includes a first-in-human study in healthy individuals without HBV infection or hepatitis B immunization. Together with the TherVacB project team, Ulrike Protzer’s ground-breaking research initiative will take the developed TherVacB vaccine to the next level in a clinical trial involving hepatitis B patients.
For those suffering from chronic hepatitis B, no curative treatment option exists until today. Prof. Ulrike Protzer supported by the entire TherVacB team is on a mission to establish such a therapeutic hepatitis B vaccine for an HBV cure in routine clinical use.
To this end, the m4 Award and prize money of 500,000 Euros will play a vital role. It facilitates the essential development steps required for the ultimate formulation of the TherVacB vaccine after initial clinical trial results. Importantly, it supports preparations for the establishment of a spin-off company to drive further clinical development to finally make the TherVacB therapy broadly available to hepatitis B patients.
The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and BioM grant the m4 Award biennially to innovative academic research projects with spin-off potential in the field of biomedicine. The Munich Biotechnology Cluster BioM drives Bavarian Biotech Cluster Development by supporting biotech companies from the German Federal State of Bavaria at every stage of setting up their business.