Prokarium acquires vaccine technology from Emergent BioSolutions


Will form Vaxonella vaccine delivery platform

Prokarium, a spin-out from Cobra Biologics, a manufacturer of biologics and pharmaceuticals, has completed a key technology acquisition from Emergent BioSolutions.

The technology includes the Maryland, US-based biopharmaceutical firm’s live Salmonella-based typhoid vaccine Typhella and its genetic technology spi-VEC.

Prokarium, based in Keele and London in the UK, will combine Typhella and spi-VEC with its proprietary genetic and formulation technologies to form Vaxonella, an oral vaccine delivery platform.

Emergent’s Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials have shown Typhella to be safe and immunogenic as a typhoid vaccine. The combination with Prokarium’s plasmid stabilisation technology ORT-VAC, will enable the delivery of recombinant protein vaccines without needles or adjuvants. Prokarium plans to offer this Vaxonella platform on a licensing basis to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Prokarium will focus on the development of a dual oral vaccine against typhoid and ETEC (enterotoxigenic E. coli) for travellers and developing country markets. Currently there is no dedicated vaccine against ETEC, which is responsible for 300,000–500,000 deaths per year, mostly of young children.

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Rocky Cranenburgh, Prokarium’s chief scientific officer, said: ‘The combination of Emergent’s Salmonella vector with Prokarium’s technologies allows us to develop an advanced oral delivery platform, which gives Prokarium the potential to revolutionise vaccinations.’