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Prokarium acquires oral vaccine technology from Emergent BioSolutions
Prokarium Ltd., a spin-out company of Cobra Biologics, an international clinical and commercial manufacturer of biologics and pharmaceuticals, has completed what it calls "a key technology acquisition" from Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company based in Maryland.
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 I and II clinical trials, which reportedly have shown Typhella to be safe and immunogenic as a typhoid vaccine. The combination with Prokarium's plasmid stabilisation technology ORT-VAC, is expected to 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.
Also, Prokarium will focus on the development of a dual oral vaccine against typhoid and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) for travelers 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, Prokarium says. Currently there is no dedicated vaccine against ETEC, considered responsible for 300,000 to 500,000 deaths per year, mostly of young children.
"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 revolutionise vaccinations," says Dr. Rocky Cranenburgh, Prokarium's chief scientific officer.