Vaccines company BigDNA is to fund a collaborative research programme with Bill Stimson, a professor at Strathclyde University’s Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, to advance the development its phage vaccine technology.
“We look forward to collaborating with Professor Bill Stimson, an internationally-renowned immunologist and his team, to further understand the mechanism of action of our phage vaccines, and help optimise the technology” said John March, chief executive of BigDNA.
“Outsourcing much of our basic research needs keeps our fixed costs low and allows us to access world-leading expertise, which would take years for us to develop in house,” March added.
BigDNA is working on using bacterial viruses, bacteriophages, as the delivery vehicle for DNA vaccines. The company says bacteriophage DNA vaccines offer the potential for extremely rapid development and manufacture, using relatively simple processes. In addition they offer the potential to be taken orally, eliminating the need for needles and injections.
A range of vaccines is currently under development by BigDNA and clinical testing of the lead product, a Hepatitis B vaccine, will begin in 2012. Vaccines for influenza, chlamydia and other diseases are also under development.