ImmBio Wins Technology Strategy Board Award to develop a vaccine against invasive meningococcal disease

05 November 2012

ImmBio Wins Technology Strategy Board Award to develop a vaccine against invasive meningococcal disease 5 November 2012 ImmunoBiology Ltd (ImmBio), a Cambridge-based vaccine development company developing the next generation of anti-infective vaccines, has been awarded a collaborative R&D grant approaching £1 million from UK innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board as part of the government-backed Biomedical Catalyst. The funding is part of the first major awards from the Catalyst, a programme of public funding designed to deliver effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK. ImmBio, whose focus is on addressing diseases where the consequence of infection is severe, will collaborate with world-leading development organisations to progress a broad spectrum vaccine against invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis.

This vaccine “MenBioVax”, will address the most significant serogroup for the UK “B”, responsible for the majority of meningococcal disease, as well as other serogroups. MenBioVax utilises ImmBio’s “ImmBioVax”, technology platform. ImmBioVax is based on the recent significant discovery that a family of proteins called “heat shock proteins” (“hsps”) undertake a pivotal role in the normal immune response to infections. Under certain circumstances, including those found during infection, hsps form complexes with pathogenic antigens (hspCs). The antigen-laden hspCs directly target dendritic cells (DCs), the antigen presenting cells of the immune system. DCs can ‘present’ these antigens to other cells of the immune system, to generate a strong ‘adaptive’ immune response. ImmBio will progress MenBioVax towards the clinic. Mr Graham Clarke, Chief Executive Officer of ImmBio, in announcing this award, said: “MenBioVax offers the prospect of a new era in prevention of invasive meningococcal disease.

The consequences of disease are often severe and infection has such a rapid onset that a vaccine such as MenBioVax is necessary to prevent death and serious illness. The technology platform we utilise for MenBioVax has wider utility against a range of infectious diseases. ImmBio has recently licensed another ImmBioVax product against tuberculosis to CNBG, the largest vaccine organisation in China. The knowledge that we will generate through this Technology Strategy Board-funded programme will accelerate our ability to bring new vaccines to the market against infectious diseases”. In total the Biomedical Catalyst has awarded £39 million to 32 projects led by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and universities to support the accelerated development of innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.

For further information contact Graham Clarke, ImmunoBiology Ltd +44 (0)1223 496117 Email graham.clarke@immbio.com