Prokarium Ltd, a spin-out company of Cobra Biologics, the international clinical and commercial manufacturer of biologics and pharmaceuticals, today completed a key technology acquisition from Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS), a global biopharmaceutical company based in Maryland, USA. The technology includes Emergent’s live Salmonella-based typhoid vaccine TyphellaTM and its genetic technology spi-VECTM. Prokarium will combine TyphellaTM and spi-VECTM with its proprietary genetic and formulation technologies to form VaxonellaTM, a versatile oral vaccine delivery platform.

Emergent has successfully conducted several phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, which have shown TyphellaTM to be safe and immunogenic as a typhoid vaccine. The combination with Prokarium’s plasmid stabilisation technology ORT-VACTM, will enable the delivery of recombinant protein vaccines without needles or adjuvants. Prokarium plans to offer this VaxonellaTM 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 revolutionise vaccinations”

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