Achilles Vaccines- Siena

AchilleS Vaccines is a dynamic, for-profit organization created to become home to some of today’s best minds in the vaccine industry. Based in Siena, a world-renowned vaccine hub, AchilleS Vaccines was born from the decades of experience in the world of vaccines brought by its founders and core team. The vast and multidisciplinary knowledge that the team possesses ranges from preclinical research to international vaccine business development, and allows maximum exploitation of our cutting-edge technological platforms. We are committed to designing new products that tackle some of the largest current world health issues, including phenomena such as antibiotic resistance, emerging diseases, pandemics, and cancer, all with the aim of producing safe and potent vaccines cheaply and efficiently.

Achilles Vaccines Values E Responsibility
Passion for science

AchilleS Vaccines is sincere passion for science. 

We are united and constantly stimulated by natural forces such as the curiosity for the unexplored, the search for simplicity and effectiveness. We aspire to beauty even in scientific thought. We promote continuous contamination, firmly respecting the differences between us and our partners, in and outside our labs, as we firmly defend the right and duty to always ask even uncomfortable questions. We believe that “difference” (gender, age, culture, profession) is the “mother of learning”. We all focus on solving major global health problems, such as malaria and antibiotic resistance, leveraging on an exclusive and geographically concentrated know-how combined with worldwide best-in-class synergies, collaborations and joint ventures, with the shared goal of quickly producing, in any quantity, high quality vaccines at affordable prices.  We cultivate rigorous science aware that the mystery persists.  We, modern biotechnologists, remain attentive, curious, intrigued, debated. And moved.

AchilleS- Who We Are
Riccardo Baccheschi -CEO
Riccardo Baccheschi

Molecular biologist with an innate interest in proteins, involved and committed to the vaccine world since 1992. Commercial and BD & L executive in Chiron Corp., a pioneer in modern vaccinology, he helped developing vaccine culture and related business activities in 3 continents, promoting international alliances and transfer technology deals between State owned biological institutes and vaccine manufacturers and personally and significantly contributing to 2 epochal events in the history of vaccines: the eradication of the OPV in India and the launch of the first ever Men B vaccine. Founder of Bionet Asia and Valliance, two international vaccine companies both with nearly 20 years of history and successes. 

Antonio Lanzavecchia - Immunologist
Antonio Lanzavecchia

Since 1980 Lanzavecchia’s work has disclosed several aspects of human immunology including antigens processing and presentation. His studies uncovered the extraordinary efficiency of B cells in immunoglobulin-mediated antigen capture and consequent T helper cell activation. Nowadays, this is a fundamental understanding in modern immunology. He also showed that antigens can be effectively recognized by receptors other than membrane immunoglobulins, a finding that has contributed to current strategies of antigen targeting to improve vaccination. Lanzavecchia described a fundamental division of memory T cells into two major subtypes, central memory and effector memory T cells, which play distinct roles in human secondary immune responses, a crucial discovery for T cell-based vaccines that aim at inducing durable and protective immunity. He also developed a novel and robust methods to immortalize human memory B cells and to preserve single plasma cells in culture. He is currently using these methodologies to interrogate the memory repertoire of selected individuals to isolate monoclonal antibodies with unique specificities. The power and utility of this approach is extensively demonstrated by the isolation of neutralizing antibodies against SARS, cytomegalovirus, avian influenza and dengue virus. Using this methodology, he identified a pentameric glycoprotein complex of the human cytomegalovirus, which is currently tested as a candidate vaccine; and antibodies with exceptional breadth to neutralize all influenza A viruses and even four different paramyxoviruses. This methodology has realized a long-sought goal: the full exploitation of the human immune response for serotherapy and vaccine design. These human monoclonal antibodies can be used not only as drugs for prophylaxis and therapy of infectious diseases, but also as tools to identify vaccine candidates, a process now known as “analytic vaccinology”. He is now applying with great successes this method to reveal malaria-specific immunoglobulin somatic mutations and new potential vaccine candidates in order to trigger the development of neutralizing antibodies against malaria.

Pietro Mastroeni - bacterial vaccines.

Pietro Mastroeni is a world-leading scientist, based at the University of Cambridge, UK. He is an expert in the pathogenesis and immunity of bacterial infections. Pietro’s work has established landmarks in our understanding of host pathogen interactions and has seeded the field of bacterial immunology, opening avenues towards a better understanding of infections of man and domestic animals. His research is multidisciplinary and spans across scales, from the study of biological phenomena in individual cells to the high complexity level of whole mammalian organisms. Pietro has laid conceptual foundations for vaccine development and medical treatment with significant and broad impact. Pietro collaborates with Achilles Vaccines on the development of bacterial vaccines.

Ilaria Russo -Malaria Vaccines
Ilaria Russo

A scientist working in the field of malaria, a disease responsible for hundreds of thousand deaths per year. Her research aims to tackle these urgent unmet medical needs affecting a third of the world population. Over 10 years of her works she has provided and is providing novel understanding of the parasite cell biology and pathology. Worldwide she is known to successfully face highly challenging projects with resulting cutting-edge discoveries and breakthrough technological advancements in the field. Her skills and findings are now interconnecting with the high potential platform offered by the Achilles and its team.

Aldo Tagliabue -Institutional Affairs
Aldo Tagliabue

An immunologist that has been involved in building several R&D initiatives for vaccines and biotech drugs. In the 80’ the Sclavo Research Center in Siena (I), in the 90’ Dompè Research Center in L’Aquila (I) and in the first decade of 2000 the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul (ROK) and Novartis Institute for Global Health in Siena. In parallel he created the consulting company ALTA that for two decades has successfully supported public and private institutions to obtain large EU grants.