Enter a New Era

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We are thrilled to announce that Release Therapeutics (previously called MaxiVAX) has been granted a late-breaking oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress. This recognition by the ESMO scientific committee comes in light of the latest results from our groundbreaking MVX-ONCO-1 Phase IIa multicenter study in patients with recurrent/metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Carcinoma (HSNCC) refractory to at least one line chemo/immunotherapy. The study was performed in Switzerland, jointly with SAKK (Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klinische Krebsforschung).

The acceptance of our non-randomized Phase II study is a rare and distinguished honour, reflecting the remarkable impact of our innovative approach to the field of cancer immunotherapy and cancer vaccine. This acknowledgement underscores the significance of Release Therapeutic’s technology to deliver highly potent proteins for effectively treating challenging medical conditions.

We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to share our findings with the global medical community at ESMO in Madrid from October 20-24, 2023.


We are pleased to announce that, with the recent progress in the development of its unique platform technology, MaxiVAX is morphing into a new company with a reinforced team, repurposed asset, and a new name:  Release Therapeutics which delivers differentiated technology for protein delivery behind the BBB, as well as, enabling the treatment of Genetic diseases without Gene Therapy.
This exciting transition marks a strategic evolution in the company’s mission and focus. 
Release Therapeutics is dedicated to advancing breakthrough therapies targeting a wide range of diseases and conditions.
Stay tuned for further updates!
Release Therapeutics Team.


MaxiVAX will be reporting the first results of sustained, peritumoral low-dose anti-CTLA-4 delivered by our encapsulated-cell technology in a colorectal cancer model at the AACR annual meeting 2023, in Orlando, Florida from April 14-19, 2023.

Our findings suggest that a sustained, controlled delivery of low-dose aCTLA4 by our technology could bring significant therapeutic benefit, without the commonly associated severe toxicities.

More information on the methodology and results can be found in the attached poster.

Poster AACR annual meeting 2023


MaxiVAX is pleased to announce that Dr Bruno Osterwalder, MD, former Chief Medical Officer, will become a Senior Advisor and member of MaxiVAX’s Scientific Advisory Board, as part of the planned leadership transition.

Dr Osterwalder was MaxiVAX’s Chief Medical Officer from October 2020 until October 2022, whereby he was responsible for leading MaxiVAX’s clinical, regulatory, and medical programmes.

Dr Osterwalder is highly regarded for his international clinical research and development, having held various roles in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a board-certified haematologist and oncologist, with more than 15 years’ experience of academic clinical practise in internal medicine, haematology, and oncology. This was followed by 19 years at F. Hoffman-Roche Basel, where he was part of the global drug development and strategic portfolio management in haematology, (immuno-) oncology and renal and cancer anaemia. He then spent 6 years at Merck Serono in Darmstadt, where he was actively involved in the global haemato-oncology and immune-oncology development. Since 2015, Dr Osterwalder is acting as a consultant, CMO or board director to smaller pharmaceutical companies in Europe, the USA and China.

MaxiVAX is delighted that Dr Osterwalder will continue to support the company as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board toward our goal of reshaping cancer treatment through active, personalized cancer immunotherapies.


MaxiVAX is pleased to announce the scientific article “Immortalized human myoblast cell lines for the delivery of therapeutic proteins using encapsulated cell technology” has been published in the Journal of Molecular Therapy – Methods and Clinical Development 26, 441-458.

The article describes the generation of a stable human myoblast cell line that was genetically modified to secrete diverse therapeutic proteins, including the cytokine adjuvant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (GM-CSF), a viral protein (SARS_CoV-2 spike protein) and antibodies (anti-CD20 and anti-CTLA4).

The scientific output and writing were the result of a collaborative endeavour between MaxiVAX and University of Geneva Hospital.

 IHM – Mol Ther MCD 2022

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880194.



MaxiVAX is pleased to announce that Dr Thomas Mehrling has been appointed Chief Medical Officer as of 1st October 2022.

Dr Mehrling will lead MaxiVAX’s clinical development strategies and plans, as well as the implementation of clinical, analytical and operational activities. He will also contribute to the further advancement of MaxiVAX’s Encapsulated Cell Technology platform, that can be customized to produce a variety of therapeutic proteins.

Dr Mehrling brings over 25 years of experience in the Pharma industry to MaxiVAX. He has held various leadership positions in drug development in oncology and haematology, medical affairs, clinical operations, and business development.

Prior to joining MaxiVAX, Dr Mehrling served in a number of key roles including as the Senior Global Medical Director at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Basel.  He was also before this CEO at Mundipharma EDO GmbH and International Director in Oncology Strategy at Mundipharma International Ltd.

Dr Mehrling received his M.D. from the University Hospital in Frankfurt and his PhD from University of Frankfurt in Germany.

Dr Mehrling’s full biography can be viewed here: MaxiVAX Team


Last week, Julien Grogg, COO and Head of Tech Dev of MaxiVAX presented recent progress on the development of our Encapsulated-Cell Platform Technology at the Swiss Cancer Center Leman’s annual retreat. The event took place at the International Conference Center of Geneva. The development of MaxiVAX’ platform technology is the result of a fruitful collaboration with UNIGE and HUG.


Prof. Nicolas Mach, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of MaxiVAX, presented MaxiVAX’s latest results in immunotherapy development at the Festival of Biologics, Basel on 3 November, 2022.

Read more: Festival of biologics


MaxiVAX is attending the Bio-Europe 2022 in Leipzig, Germany, 24 – 26 October.

Bio-Europe 2022 is the largest Biopharma networking event in Europe, attracting a wide range of business leaders, such as: senior executives of leading biotech companies, business development teams from large and midsize pharmaceutical companies, investors, and other industry experts.

Read more: https://informaconnect.com/bioeurope/



MaxiVAX is participating and presenting a scientific poster at the Cancer Immunotherapy Conference CICON 2022 in New York, 28 September – 1  October.

The congress focuses on the « Translating Science into Survival, » and features talks from more than 60 leaders in the field covering all areas of inquiry in cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

Read more: http://www.cancerimmunotherapyconference.org/

  Poster CICON 2022

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880194.



MaxiVAX and the University of Geneva Hospital (HUG) team were awarded the Best Poster Award – Investigational Immunotherapy at ESMO 2022 in Paris.

The poster highlights the safety, feasibility and efficacy of MVX-ONCO-1 in 34 patients with solid tumors.

Best poster and ESMO poster


MaxiVAX is participating and presenting a scientific poster at the ESMO Congress 2022 in Paris 9 – 13 September.

The ESMO Congress will bring together key opinion leaders, clinicians and scientists to brainstorm, debate and explore topics in the field of medical oncology.

Read more: https://www.esmo.org/meetings/esmo-congress-2022

  Poster ESMO 2022


Interview with Mrs Ksenija Pavletic, MaxiVAX’s Chairwoman and Prof Nicolas Mach MaxiVAX’s Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer in the Entreprise Romande, a publication by the “Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève” (in French).

MaxiVAX has completed a Phase I clinical trial, whereby a total of 34 patients were treated. The results of this clinical trial demonstrated that MaxiVAX’s personalised immunotherapeutic treatment is feasible, safe and well tolerated.

MaxiVAX’s on-going Phase II Head and Neck clinical trial shows promising results. The interim data review shows 75% of patients reaching the 6 months survival endpoint, which is above the initial target of 50% of patients reaching 6 months survival. With these promising results, MaxiVAX plans to complete this study by the end of 2023.

While remaining optimistic, Mrs Ksenija Pavletic shares her insights on the financing challenges that many start-ups such as MaxiVAX often face. She also adds that it would require approximately four more years to bring MaxiVAX’s immunotherapeutic product to the market.

Entreprise Romande : Interview MaxiVAX



MaxiVAX will be participating and presenting a scientific poster at the Immune Responses in Cancer Infection (IRCI) meeting, Lyon on 15- 17th June. The IRCI2022 is organized by researchers from two leading centres in Lyon, the CIRI and CRCL.

The IRCI meeting will bring together international prominent scientists and clinicians to discuss their recent immunological findings in fundamental and clinical research.

Read more: Immune Responses in Cancer Infection meeting

Poster MaxiVAX IRCI meeting



MaxiVAX will participate in the European Oncology Partnering Convention, a two-day event entirely dedicated to open innovation in Oncology – Bordeaux, France on 12 -13 May, 2022.

Read more: European Oncology Partnering Convention



Interview with Prof Nicolas Mach, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer in Switzerland’s “Bilan” Magazine (in French). Prof Mach explains about MVX-ONCO-1 and the Phase II clinical trial conducted in 4 sites in Switzerland, aimed at tackling Head and Neck Squamous Carcinoma (HSNCC). All patients enrolled in the study have confirmed diagnosis of HNSCC, state III/IV and have previously failed several courses of standard therapy. Preliminary results of this clinical trial are very encouraging and MaxiVAX intends to complete this study in the following 6 to 9 months.

MaxiVAX aims to raise capital to further advance clinical studies of the company’s lead therapeutic products in other solid cancers. A partnership with Minaris Regenerative Medicine, a Contract Development and Manufacturing and Organisation, has been concluded, to scale-up the manufacturing of MaxiVAX’s lead product MVX-ONCO-2.

Bilan : MaxiVAX veut traiter tous les cancers



Prof. Nicolas Mach, co-founder and CSO of MaxiVAX, presented the bench to bedside development of MVX-ONCO at HUG’s Café de l’Innovation.

Read more (French) : HUG café de l’innovation



Geneva – March 3rd, 2022 – MaxiVAX will attend the RNA Leaders World Congress live in Basel, March 16-17, 2022. The event is a gathering of leading pharmas and biotechs as well as academic institutions that develop RNA medicines. MaxiVAX will participate on the partnering platform.



MaxiVAX announces the completion of enrolment into the MVX-ONCO-1 phase I – part 3 – clinical trial in Advanced Solid Tumors with encouraging safety and efficacy signals.

Geneva – January 27, 2022 – MaxiVAX announced today the completion of enrolment into the phase I trial of MVX-ONCO-1 in advanced solid tumors. The study’s part 3 was an extension to recruit in total 35 patients following positive safety profile and encouraging efficacy signals from part 1&2. The initial phases of the study were completed in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and were designed to enroll patients with rare types of advanced solid tumors in order to collect additional safety, efficacy and translational research data.

MaxiVAX is now very proud to announce that the last patient started its treatment in October 2021 and will end the short-term follow-up in March 2022. The company plans to publish the results of this study shortly thereafter.



MaxiVAX to take over the sponsorship of SAKK 11/16 phase II clinical study in HNSCC.

Geneva – October 19, 2021 – MaxiVAX announced today that the company has taken over the sponsorship of SAKK 11/16 phase II clinical study in patients with Head & Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The long lasting and appreciated relationship with SAKK will continue, as SAKK will remain involved in the context of a Sponsor-CRO collaboration.

As the new sponsor of SAKK 11/16, MaxiVAX held an Investigator meeting on the 6th of October 2021. The highly awaited event saw the active participation of 4 investigators and clinical study staff from our 4 recruiting sites (Lausanne, Zurich, St. Gallen and Geneva).

The investigator meeting presented an excellent opportunity for the participants to have discussions on the latest protocol amendment and challenges faced by each site. It drew valuable feedback from the floor and the inputs from the investigators shed new insights on the scientific and operational aspects of the trial. The session resulted in an alignment and commitment from the CRO, the Sponsor and the investigators. MaxiVAX would like to thank the participants, and especially the investigators and the clinical study staff for their involvement.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880194.



MaxiVAX to advance its second-generation personalized immunotherapy – MVX-ONCO-2 – to studies in solid tumors.

Geneva – October 6, 2021 – MaxiVAX announced today that the company has filed a Clinical Trial Application for a multicenter phase I study of MVX-ONCO-2 in patients with advanced solid tumors. This advancement is the result of several years of development and close collaboration with experts in immuno-oncology and cell encapsulation technologies.

MVX-ONCO-2 follows the scientific principles of MVX-ONCO-1, MaxiVAX’ first asset in clinical development. The phase I study evaluating the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of MVX-ONCO-1 in patients with advanced solid tumors will be completed in Q1-2022. The encouraging safety and efficacy signals observed in this open label study led to the development and initiation of the phase II PoC study in Head & Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SAKK 11/16), which is currently enrolling patients.

By developing MVX-ONCO-2, a second asset to enter clinic in Q2 2022, MaxiVAX has created a new cell encapsulation technology with platform capabilities and optimized features for long term GMCSF delivery in vivo. The company believes that this technology will further improve the efficacy profile of MVX-ONCO-1 without compromising its very good safety profile. A total of 6 patients with advanced melanoma (3) and advanced solid tumors (3) will be enrolled in this phase Ia study of MVX-ONCO-2.

MaxiVAX is also investigating expanding the use of its encapsulation technology to potentially bring therapeutic solutions to the extensive unmet medical need in other chronic disease such as inherited bleeding disorders or lysosomal storage diseases.




Immunotherapy techniques developed in oncology to combat cancerous cells have great potential for fighting viruses. A research team from the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), in Switzerland, in collaboration with MaxiVAX, a spinoff of both institutions, developed an innovative technology called « cell encapsulation ». Originally designed to stimulate immunity to fight cancer, the COVID-19 pandemic motivated the scientists to broaden the scope of their technology to test its effectiveness against viruses. The first results of a pre-clinical study are very encouraging and can be discovered in the journal Vaccines.

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MVX-ONCO Explained


MaxiVAX and Minaris Regenerative Medicine Enter into a Manufacturing Partnership

GENEVA, Switzerland and MUNICH, Germany – Feb 22, 2021 — MaxiVAX SA, a private Swiss clinical-stage biotech company developing novel anti-cancer vaccines, and Minaris Regenerative Medicine GmbH (“Minaris”), a leading contract development and manufacturing service provider for the cell and gene therapy industry, have entered into a manufacturing agreement for MVX-ONCO-2, a cell-based immunotherapy for the treatment of cancers such as chordoma, head and neck, and other solid tumors.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880194.



Geneva study against SARS-COV-2 gets underway

Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Infectious Disease Research Centre at Laval University in Quebec (Canada) and MaxiVAX – a Geneva-based company specialising in biotechnology – are working together to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. This joint research programme aims to create a vaccine combining an immunostimulator and a specific coronavirus target, namely the spike surface protein. This is administered by intradermal injection with the immunostimulator, whose role is to produce an adjuvant capable of stimulating the immune system. It is implanted under the skin via cell encapsulation, a technology that is already undergoing Phase II clinical tests led by HUG in collaboration with MaxiVAX in the area of cancer immunotherapy.
The first pre-clinical tests for perfecting the vaccine will be carried out on mice in the coming weeks. If preliminary tests prove encouraging, a clinical trial could be set up in the near future.

 English Français


MaxiVAX awarded €2,785,000 European Commission grant and announces successful closing of its Series B 2 round for an amount of CHF 5 million

  • MaxiVAX wins grant among 94 projects funded out of 2,015 applications
  • Closing of Series B 2 round of CHF 5 million from new and existing investors
  • Funds used for Phase 2 cancer programs

MaxiVAXSA, a private Swiss clinical-stage biotech company developing novel anti-cancer vaccines, announced today that it had been awarded a European Commission grant of €2,785,000, thanks to the Horizon 2020EIC Accelerator Programme.MaxiVAX was among 94 funded projects out of 2,015 applicants, thereby ranking among the top 4% of high-tech companies.

The company also reported the successful closing of a Series B 2 roundof CHF 5 million from new and existing investors, whose continuing support the company is particularly grateful.

English  Français

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 880194