Vaxess Hires Steve Bende, Ph.D., as Chief Strategy Officer

March 21, 2023

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 22, 2023 — Vaxess Technologies, Inc., a life sciences company developing a shelf-stable vaccine patch with potential for self-application, today announced that Steve Bende, Ph.D., has joined the company as chief strategy officer. 


“Steve brings to Vaxess an unparalleled depth and diversity of expertise in strategy, policy, and product development for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies,” said Michael Schrader, CEO of Vaxess. “Throughout his career, Steve has shown an ability to help organizations of all sizes — from emerging biotech startups to the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and government agencies — grow and succeed. We’re absolutely thrilled to have him join the Vaxess team as we move our vaccine patches towards commercialization.” 


Prior to joining Vaxess, Bende served as global head of new products at Sanofi Pasteur. There, he led international multifunctional teams to assess commercial viability of potential new products for internal pipeline projects or potential business development deals. Previously, Bende was a senior policy advisor for the US Department of Health and Human Services’ National Vaccine Program Office. Prior to DHHS  roles included president and CEO of biotech company Bacilligen, Inc., consultant for Science & Policy Strategies, LLC and  The Livingston Group, and vice president of scientific affairs for Generic Pharmaceutical Association. Bende did research and was an administrator at NIAID after receiving his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from Thomas Jefferson University. 


“The Vaxess team has developed a sustained release patch technology that has the potential to fundamentally change how numerous therapeutics are distributed and administered,” said Bende. “As chief strategy officer, I look forward to working with the company on exploring the many potential applications for this technology, and bringing Vaxess’s first patches to market in the coming years.”  


Bende is joining Vaxess during a time of significant growth for the company. Over the last year, Vaxess announced $37 million in Series B funding, launched its phase 1 trial of the MIMIX-Flu vaccine patch, and published the initial clinical trial results. Vaxess has also grown its team by more than 30% across its corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its GMP manufacturing facility in Woburn. 


About Vaxess Technologies

Vaxess Technologies is developing the MIMIX™ sustained release patch technology, the easiest and most effective way to administer vaccines and therapeutics. For vaccines, the controlled release simulates the pace of a natural infection, helping the body produce a slow, strong, and enduring ramp-up of immune response, ultimately boosting a vaccine’s effectiveness. Engineered for stability, Vaxess’s patch does not require refrigeration and can be shipped to and applied in low resource settings.


Vaxess has raised grant and venture capital funding from groups such as RA Capital Management, The Engine, BARDA, DARPA, NIH, NSF and the Gates Foundation. For more information, please visit the company website at or send additional inquiries to