Prokarium Ltd has completed a key technology acquisition from Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company based in Maryland, USA.
The technology includes Emergent’s live Salmonella-based typhoid vaccine Typhella™ and its genetic technology spi-VEC™.
Prokarium will combine Typhella™ and spi-VEC™ with its proprietary genetic and formulation technologies to form Vaxonella™, a versatile oral vaccine delivery platform.
Emergent has successfully conducted several phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, which have shown Typhella™ to be safe and immunogenic as a typhoid vaccine.
The combination with Prokarium’s plasmid stabilization technology ORT-VAC™, will enable the delivery of recombinant protein vaccines without needles or adjuvants.
Prokarium plans to offer this Vaxonella™ platform to the biotech community on a licensing basis.
Prokarium will focus on the development of a dual oral vaccine against typhoid and ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli - a major cause of diarrhoea) for travellers and developing country markets.
There are 22 million cases of typhoid every year resulting in 200,000 deaths, so an effective oral vaccine could have a significant impact.
Currently there is no dedicated vaccine against ETEC, considered responsible for 300,000 - 500,000 deaths per year, mostly of young children.
Dr Rocky Cranenburgh, Prokarium’s Chief Scientific Officer, said “I am delighted with the acquisition of this technology from Emergent; the combination of their Salmonella vector with Prokarium’s technologies allows us to develop an advanced oral delivery platform which gives Prokarium the potential to revolutionize vaccinations”.