UK research unveils new generation of immunological adjuvants

Investment from the White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund (WRTSF) – the venture capital fund owned by the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York (UK) – has funded the completion of a series of significant technical milestones in the development of a new family of `immunologically-rational` adjuvants for vaccines, which are materially very different from the existing adjuvants based on aluminium salts and bacterial cell wall components.

Sheffield-based life science company Adjuvantix Ltd is now well positioned in its ambition to enter the $5 billion vaccine market(i).

The patented technology produces adjuvants that have greater effectiveness and no harmful side effects – addressing the key hurdles(ii) that have been preventing the development of vaccines for the infectious diseases such as hepatitis-B, hepatitis-C and HIV. Moreover the novel adjuvants should enable a new generation of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines for chronic, non-infectious diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and stroke.

The company is based on the research in the University of Sheffield`s Department of Genomic Medicine and has already attracted significant interest from a number of pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Peter Laing, formerly Research Director at Actinova Ltd and SynGenix Ltd has been appointed as a non-executive director to the company, and David Gough, formerly Chief Executive of Avlar BioVentures has been appointed as consultant to the management team in preparation for the next round of funding.

Peter Laing said
“The Adjuvantix technology is extremely exciting and will be a key enabler in the race to develop new vaccines based upon developments in genomics. ”

The company is currently focusing on developing adjuvants for vaccines to prevent and treat Alzheimer`s disease, influenza, meningitis and herpes virus infection – each chosen to represent a specific area of Adjuvantix expertise.

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